While running our course in iGEM, despite the help and mentorship of our instructors, we were left with challenges and difficulties that only people in our shoes can understand. By this mean, we were in touch with many teams via social network. We communicated with teams to help each other out in overcoming the hardships together and met brilliant people. Thus, the collaborations with the other iGEM teams: “LACAS BioBots, Warwick, Saint Joseph, iGEM Dusseldorf, iGEM Marburg, iGEM UPF-CRG Barcelona, iGEM Vilnius-Lithuania, iGEM Michigan State University, iGEM Paris Bettencourt, iGEM Oxford, iGEM Oxford, iGEM Imperial, Bilkent UNAMBG, Acıbadem Istanbul, Bielefeld” which are mentioned below in a more detailed way emphasize our joy and efforts spent during the exchange of ideas and knowledge.
LACAS BioBots 2018 iGEM
We helped the team iGEM Lahore, LACAS BioBots from Pakistan via a Skype session we had in which we discussed about the ongoing status of our projects and the InterLab processes. About the Interlab process; we gave them suggestions based on the difficulties we faced and shared our own experiences as we were ahead of them during that time. We gave them the key points of some protocols as we had setbacks due to misunderstandings. Moreover, we wrote a paragraph based on art and synthetic biology for a competition they were organizing worldwide.
Warwick 2018 iGEM
With Warwick iGEM 2018 team we had several Skype sessions where we discussed about our projects, experiments and methods.
They introduced us to websites such as benchling, where the FASTA(s) of desired gene(s) can be written and so the gene(s) are virtually inserted to a certain backbone (such as pSB1C3). The site enables the user to see any possible cut sites, which primers can be and should be used and your gene circuit on the whole.
The Warwick team, furthermore answered our questions via Instagram and provided help when we faced some problems with our protocols.
Saint Joseph iGEM 2018
While exchanging knowledge with Saint Joseph Istanbul iGEM Team from Turkey, we talked about our projects and since it’s their first year experiencing iGEM, we gave them advice mostly on how to characterize a part. We also helped them in the means of medal criteria and how to finish their work on time; we suggested them to start filling both their wiki page and pages in the registry. In order for them to interact with us any time they are in need, we exchanged our phone numbers and kept in contact at all times.
Surveys to Greater Populations...
For the iGEM Copenhagen 2018 and iGEM Paris Bettencourt, we filled their surveys in order to help them with their projects. The teams iGEM Dusseldorf, iGEM Marburg, iGEM UPF-CRG Barcelona, iGEM Vilnius-Lithuania, iGEM Michigan State University, iGEM Paris Bettencourt, iGEM Oxford helped us spread our survey to greater populations. We supported iGEM Oxford and iGEM Imperial teams by spreading their survey as well.
iGEM 2018 Turkey Meet-up
With the attendance of all iGEM 2018 Teams from Turkey, we held a meet-up in our school's conference center on the 8th of September, 2018.
Our goal in this meet-up was to get to know iGEM teams from Turkey, to gain helpful new insights, polish everyone's presentation skills, and to exchange advice, tips and thoughts.
Since it's the first time that another high school iGEM Team from Turkey will be participating iGEM this year, we were especially enthusiastic to have Saint Joseph HS iGEM Team as a guest, and share our experiences with them.
We had the meet-up opening with the sincere music performance of students from Mavi Çizgi music school. After the music, Tuğba İnanç ,our PI, talked about her experiences in iGEM with previous teams and officially initiated presentation session. Her presentation was followed by Dr. Ceyhun Kayıhan's speech in which he talked about the history of Synthetic Biology and its impact on the society.
Then, team presentations started and followed the order as Saint Joseph iGEM, Bilkent UNAMBG, METU_HS_Ankara, and finally Acıbadem İstanbul. We all have asked questions to each other, gave advice and shared our memories from the summer we left behind. It was refreshing to see new interpretations and ways of doing things. Also it was motivating to see that we were not the only ones to face problems and spend efforts to overcome them.
After the scientific presentations session, to have some fun and build stronger bonds as iGEMmers, together with Saint Joseph team, we followed the route to a tour in METU campus, which is known to be green, refreshing and fun. Along the way, we shared our hilarious memories and struggles throughout our journey of iGEM.
We all think that this meetup was productive, and we wish all the teams the best of luck.
Modeling with Bielefeld
As a highschool team, we were short on knowledge such as programming and modelling. Another setback was working through the summer, when many
people were on vacation, but the iGEM teams.
During the meetup presentations, one of the teams mentioned getting help and support from the iGEM Bielefeld CeBiTec 2018 team. They also mentioned being glad with how their project turned out. So we reached out to them.
Through our chats on Instagram, they acknowledged using multiple modeling approaches; they modeled toxicity kinetics of different metal ions and promoters which they can use for metal uptake related parts and a filter system for water purification. Moreover, they also had a software tool for siRNA, which can be used for modeling. Unfortunately none of these modelling approaches suited our project in any aspect. However, they wanted to help us improve our project, thus, they found us several programs that we could use to make a 3D model of an enzyme.
They sent us a list of tutorials and steps necessary to have a proper model. Additionally they taught us how to calculate the binding energy between two proteins and then to load the proteins into the software tool; Chimera. Here we could modify them by removing helixes and use them for further calculations in online software tools, like Flexpepdock, to calculate binding strength.
Characterization with Bilkent Unam Team
After the iGEM Turkey Meet-up, the Bilkent UNAM team has further contacted us for help. During their presentation in the meetup, they have told us about their project and how they were aiming to use magnets but they didn't have enough.
In order to benefit from the situation, we have talked to our physics teachers at school and asked whether we could improve and then borrow the magnets we use at school and lend them to UNAM. After a few days, we have prepared the magnets to help them characterize their parts. The next day, we met in front of our school and lended them the magnets and further discussed the status of our projects. At the moment we are looking forward to our next collaboration and hoping to hear good news from them and their experiments.
Collaboration with TUDelft
With TUDelft team, we have collaborated to help each other. We have communicated numerous times via Instagram, especially when we faced an obstacle, and since they were an Overgraduate team, they were very knowledgeable. We appreciate their help and their thoughtfulness.