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Team Ruia-Mumbai have been working to create a synthetic biological device to degrade catechu, by extracellular expression of genes responsible for breaking the flavan 3,4-diol bonds in polyphenols which is one of the compounds responsible for the red stains caused by the same.
They approached us regarding mentorship at the beginning of July 2018. In our first meeting we got acquainted with their project and suggested different methodologies they could follow to make their project more robust for example, we discussed in detail about secretion tag to facilitate extracellular secretion of their protein of interest and suggested corresponding literature. After that, we organized regular video conference meetings between July and October to discuss the progress of their project and other aspects of iGEM competition such as Interlab and Human Practices. We discussed technical doubts they faced in Interlab and also shared data to validate the results.
Our team also helped Team Ruia-Mumbai with experimentation protocols like we shared our protocol for preparing competent cells. We suggested changes to their protocols to optimize experimentation for cloning of their construct. We also thoroughly discussed modeling kinetics of their enzyme but weren’t able to continue it due to time constraints.
We have been in constant touch with Team IISER-Bhopal starting from the month of May. We discussed each other’s project and helped sort out technical problems related to it.
IISER Bhopal suggested an initiative to increase the outreach of each other’s projects. In this initiative both the teams exchanged slides mentioning brief overview about their project and introduced each other’s idea in public engagement events like Lecture Series conducted by IIT Kanpur and iGEM Day (25th August 2018) organized by IISER Bhopal.
Both teams shared each others’ Interlab data and interpretations to get a deeper understanding of the acquired data from experiments.
We also helped Team IISER-Bhopal with their US VISA procedures which eased their application process. Along the way, we also cleared their other technical doubts and both the teams helped each other out whenever possible.
We recently had a discussion with Team IISER-Mohali in which we discussed each other’s project. It was an interesting session, and we found their project an innovative one. Our session was focussed on critically analyzing each other’s project and discussing potential questions that can come up during Jamboree presentation. It helped both our teams to prepare robustly for the same. Since the team had participated in iGEM 2017, they shared their experience about judging criteria, presentation and poster session at the Giant Jamboree which was helpful and gave us additional insight into the competition.
In iGEM 2015, Team TecCEM_HS participated and worked upon developing a system to degrade SDS, similar to our project in idea. A member of their team, Borreguin JC, is participating in this year’s Team TecCEM as well, and he was helpful in figuring out the issues they faced in past project so that we could avoid committing them.
Since isolating the sdsA gene from Pseudomonas aeruginosa was difficult, we contacted them if they could provide us with the plasmid containing the same. They gifted us the BioBrick(BBa_K1629002) which they had submitted in iGEM with the corresponding gene, thus helping us move forward with our project.
A great idea is great not because of its technicalities, but because of the impact it has on the people around it.
To gather an understanding of how water pollution affects different parts of the world, we conducted a survey amongst iGEM 2018 teams to get their views on the problem in their regions. Members of 18 teams filled us in with their knowledge which has given us a wider perspective of the problem around the globe.
The teams that did the needful are:
→Pasteur Paris 2018
→METU HS Ankara iGEM 2018
→Hawaii iGEM Team
→iGEM Bielefeld-CeBiTec 2018
→iGEM Pasteur Paris 2018