Human Practice

UT-Tokyo team set 2 goals for Human Practice in this year;

1. To make better circumstances of Japanese teams’ experiments and management
2. To familiarize Synthetic Biology more in general public

The motivations of these goals are as follows;

1. In the present condition, some Japanese teams do not have enough support from universities orcompanies and it directly links to the quality of projects. In order to develop Japanese teams’ projects, we thought it is necessary to make circumstances in which Japanese teams can have more support.

2. In Japan, the word, ‘synthetic biology’, ‘genetic transformation’ is not broadly accepted with favored not understood fully. For future development of synthetic biology, we thought it is important toeducate general public.

The following is what we did in order to achieve these goals.

Foundation of iGEM-Japan

In this year, UT-Tokyo founded iGEM-Japan with other seven Japanese teams (HokkaidoU_Japan, Tokyo-Tech, TMU-Tokyo, Tokyo-NoKoGen, KAIT-Japan, Osaka, Kyoto) and cooperated each other. As the result, we are offered a lot of reagents for free from Promega Corporation and also aided by IKEDA SCIENTIFIC Co., Ltd. These results were great help for us. We think it led to make the basement where iGEM is broadly accepted as the number of companies supporting us increased

Educational Activity

1. Educational Activity for general public

In order to familiarize synthetic biology and iGEM to general public, UT-Tokyo joined many eventsand did poster sessions or presentations. For example, we explained about our projects and synthetic biology in school festivals at the University of Tokyo, and spoke on the future of syntheticbiology in Career Discovery Seminar, which was held by Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.

2. Educational Activity for high school students

It is also important to educate high school students, So, we joined Science Castle, which was the poster session of scientific research by high school students. We also supported Fuji Metropolitan High School in 2 ways;

we helped their self-study twice a month and instructed students who participated in a scientific competition as mentors.

3. Feedback from experts for educational activity

In order to confirm the quality of our human practice, we tried to have the opportunity to be given advice from experts. We joined Japanese Society for Cell Synthesis Research and we were provided with some useful feedbacks such as what kind of explanation is easier to understand.

4. Pleasant Game

“E.clock Simulator” is a simulation game which is helpful to understand multicellular analog clock. Players can create and simulate oscillation waves by using cells which emit signaling molecules.

Through this game, the player can learn basic knowledge of signaling molecules and quorum sensing. This game is also usable as a tutorial for modeling of oscillator. At the beginning of the game, players can run the oscillation waves by dropping signaling molecules on the cells that have constructions related to quorum sensing. Running this simulation, the players will learn about ideas of oscillator.

But as you know, this game does not realize ‘clock’. If it is clock, it has to overcome two problems; it need to move in one direction and it must not have autonomic oscillation because the number of a clock hand must be one.

In order to make multicellular analogue clock, we made effort developing from this simple oscillation. If you want to know more detail, please enjoy our Multicellular Analogue Clock page!

The game is also implemented with an action game. In the action game, you can assign cells which emit signaling molecules to kill bad bacterias.
The action game is designed so that you not only enjoy the game but also learn how the clock works.



Agent Support from Promega Corporation

Last year, UT-Tokyo got large support from Promega Corporation, a famous reagent company. This year, considering the circumstances that Japanese teams tend to get little support from universities or companies, Promega offered their reagents to iGEM-Japan teams.

Sharing Information &
iGEM-Japan Meeting held by TMU-Tokyo

We promoted more interaction among Japanese teams in this year. For example, we shared eachteams’ project via internet and meeting thankfully held by TMU-Tokyo. Through pointing out eachteam’s problem of project, we developed the quality of our projects.

Skype conference with NTU-Taiwan

In spring, we also did skype conference with NTU-BEST, a team of National Taiwan University. Thetwo teams introduced their projects each other and it was very good opportunity to get a feedbackfrom others. We also shared information about management, and after that we often helped each other.


In addition, we answered some questions from other teams. For example, TU/Eindhoven has an project on “Synthetic Facts”. In this project, they were going to make the database to check whether every question for the synthetic biology made by ordinary people who do not have specialized background is right. We cooperated with them by making the examples of some“facts”. Also we helped Purdue University’s human practice.

To simulate the cell-cell communication system, we developed a delayed differential equation model. The equation used in the model are followings. The variables are described in the following table.