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IGEM PARISIAN MEET-UP
On July 7th, 2018, a Parisian meet-up was organized by the iGEM Pasteur team. It was a great opportunity to meet for the first time 8 other french iGEM teams. We were able to practice our project presentation for the Jamboree and to get more acquainted with other projects for an eventual future collaboration. In Paris, our team was represented by Thomas (team leader and engineer) and Elise (biologist).
IGEM MEDITERRANNEAN MEET-UP
On August 9th and 10th, our team had the chance to be invited to Marseilles for the Mediterranean meet-up organized by the Aix-Marseilles iGEM team. The team presented its project and poster in front of a jury. Our team was also able to talk with a guest speaker about bioethics. iGEM ambassadors were also present.
A lot of remarks that we got during this meet-up allowed us to progress with our project. To see how this meet-up allowed us to integrate the Human Practices in our project, click below.
Changes in our project induced by this event
Following the feedback we received, after the MeetUp we:
- prioritized the biobrick of lysis over that of resistance
- created a new poster for the giant jamboree by adding the human practices and the modeling
- planned to check with doctors if waste management can be easily done in a hospital
- created a bank of questions and answers to know how to defend the usefulness of the project
- had positive feedback on the project, which led us to continue in the same direction
- tried to think about a multiple uses of the system
IGEM SPANISH MEET-UP
From Saturday 18th to Monday 20th of August, Lucas went to Barcelona for the Spanish meet-up organized by iGEM UPF-CRG-Barcelona. Grenoble-Alpes was the only French team there!
This meet-up allowed us to meet all the Spanish teams except from Valencia (which makes two teams from Barcelona, one from Madrid and one from Navarre). Each team did a Jamboree-like presentation. Feedbacks have been produced on the presentations. Speakers came to talk about the evolution of synthetic biology, ethics and bacterial microfilms.
Thanks to the iGEM Navarra BG team, our project has been featured in Spanish press articles.
For the 21st edition of the Biotechnology Forum of Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, iGEM Grenoble was invited to present phage therapy and its project to biotechnologies professionals. Romy, a former member of iGEM Grenoble 2017, helped us to organize this event.
Thanks to our proximity with the GIANT campus, we had the chance to mingle with foreigners postdoctoral researchers who showed a great interest in our project. It was also a real pleasure to meet Minh-Hà PHAM, Counselor for Science and Technology at the Embassy of France in the United States, who incites us to continue our efforts.
UGA C'EST PARTY!
On the 12th and 13th of September, we welcomed new students from Grenoble-Alpes University and Grenoble INP Network. The goal was to make the association and the competition known to encourage vocations for the next years. We also had the opportunity to meet teachers, researchers and volunteers from the university community who were able to help us for the visibility and the construction of our Phagyzer project. 40 people were willing to take part in the competition next year.
UNIVERSITE D'ETE SOLIDAIRE
With iGEM EPFL Swiss team, we attended workshops about ethical reflection on synthetic biology at a summer university (called université d’été solidaire in French) in Grenoble on Thursday, August 23rd. The iGEM EPFL team produced a film in which the day's progress appears.
We met with associations, seeking to make citizens aware of new advances in research and to participate in research budget votes and research legislation. We debated with opponents of synthetic biology and iGEM. To access the a part of the debate: click below.
Discussion with J. Testart
We discussed with the EPFL team, Jacques Testart (famous French biologist) and the association Sciences Citoyennes about iGEM competition and synthetic biology. First completely hermetic to iGEM, Mr Testart then consider that some projects iGEM, like ours and that of Lausanne, could be ethically responsible. Here is his answer to our first debate and starting of email exchange:
Translation of the mail:
“Thank you for your message. First of all, I would like to remind you how much my colleagues from Sciences Citoyennes and I were pleased to meet you and appreciated your questions that demonstrate a rare responsibility.
Why am I "against" IGEM? As stated in the book, this event disconnects technical performances from its possible consequences for society. "Everything is possible !" they say. May the best win. It is also a matter of teaching to students, in a fun way, that research is above all a competition, which reinforces the ideal of performance in relation to the meaning of innovations. The difficulties you have in finding an interlocutor (at the IGEM or in your school) who can help you with ethical questions show that these questions are irrelevant and it is not the sponsors who will contradict me ...
I do not think that many students have been brought to a reflection like yours thanks to this experience. With my colleagues from SC, we greatly appreciate your commitments and wish to continue these discussions with you.
Last published book:
Au péril de l'humain. Les promesses suicidaires des transhumanistes.
With Agnès Rousseaux. Seuil 2018 “
We are still discussing with him the ethical basis of the competition. We will continue until him or us succeed to join the opinion of the other!
PARVIS DES SCIENCES
As part of the Science week, the iGEM team was invited to participate in the Parvis des Sciences organized by CEA Grenoble. During this event, many stands offer activities and presentations related to science. Our team received family and high school classes from the Grenoble region and presented the Phagyzer project on Thursday 11th. An opportunity for us to popularize our project.
The following Saturday (October 13th), the presentation was extended to everybody, people from Grenoble of all ages. We were really surprised by the interest of the young people!
In September 2018 we presented our project and the iGEM competition in the Phelma engineering school. Some iGEM members are students from this school. The goal is to promote the competition and that some students want to be part of the 2019 team! We could answer the questions of many students and take note of their remarks.
In September 2018 we presented our project and iGEM competition to undergraduate students in Biotechnology and Medicine. Some iGEM members are students from this university. It seemed important to present our project to future doctors and to make a discussion on phage therapy. The approach is the same as during the presentation at the engineering school.
MIDI MINATEC (SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY)
On Friday, October 12th, as part of Science Week, the iGEM team supported a Midi-Minatec (seminar conference) in front of 400 people, CEA researchers and students from the Grenoble region. This is the first time the team could unveil the Phagyzer system to the general public! The 30-minute presentation allowed to present the iGEM competition, the formation of the association iGEM, the preparation of the project and the realization of the Phagyzer system. It aroused the audience curiosity as 15 minutes of questions followed the presentation and many people came to talk with us even later!