If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
The sheer amount that our project has developed since its inception is extraordinary.
The amazing work here at NUSGEM definitely would definitely not have been possible without the invaluable guidance and unfailing kindness of those who have helped us in one way or another. In this spirit, credit must be given where it is due, and we would like to express our utmost gratitude to the following people and organizations who saw the value in our humble project,
and selflessly offered their expertise for the betterment of our project.
We would like to wholeheartedly thank Associate Professor POH Chueh Loo and Assistant Professor Jimmy Chih-Hsien PENG, our greatest cheerleaders.
Both of these Professors toiled tirelessly for our project since its conception, and provided the team constant direction and well-meaning motivation every step of the way.
The team brainstormed project ideas from February to late May.
During this period, the team received constructive and detailed feedback on all of our preliminary project ideas from Professor Richard KITNEY from Imperial College London
- he was a great critic, and imparted the wisdom gleaned from his many years of iGEM involvement to us.
Professor Paul FREEMONT, also from Imperial College London, was instrumental in opening our eyes to the fashion industry that was fraught with issues, and provided us with much-needed inspiration to pursue a problem within the fashion industry.
Lab work began in late May.
We were fortunate to have a team of treasured advisors and instructors who patiently guided us in our experiments
- Dr. LIM Yan Ping, Mr. ZHANG Jingyun, and Dr. Saravanan Prabhu NADARAJAN, who taught us the fundamental laboratory techniques necessary for our experiments, gave us a primer on interpreting laboratory data, showed us the ropes of primer design, and taught us the importance of sequencing analysis to check for successful cloning.
In addition, they have assisted us in the design of the constructs and primers used throughout the course of our project.
We would also like to thank Dr. FOO Jee Loon from the National University of Singapore, who provided invaluable insights on the more technical aspects of our project.
For further details on how Dr Foo’s suggestions have shaped our project, please refer to our Integrated Human Practices page.
Mr. Clarence TAN Kang Lek loaned and set up his DSLR to help us create a time lapse of our biomanufacturing of luteolin in a bioreactor.
Please check out our Human Practices page for a list of our interviewees.
They helped us better understand how to tackle the problems we faced, and provided a refreshing and holistic perspective on our project.
Miss TAN Annie and Mr. YIP Chi Ho, Justin helped us with the procurement of equipment for assembly of our hardware, such as the bearings used in our peristaltic pump. They also helped to process our Item Request Lists so our purchases could be reimbursed.
While we did not actualize the ideas generated by Mr. Brian Shohei TEO during our discussion on how to refine the design of Light Wait, we still learned much about good design practice and unconventional thinking, and did our best to implement these principles in later designs.
He also reviewed our Hardware page, and along with Mr. Eugene EE.
Mr. Anuwar bin SHUKOR and Mr. TAY Peng Yeow supervised us and ensured our safety in our use of the 3D printer and laser cutter.
When it was not possible to use the school’s facilities, Mr SAJJAD Ali helped us to 3D print our designs using his personal 3D printer.
We would like to thank Dr. YEOH Jing Wui for imparting to us the principles of mathematical modelling which helped us analyse the relevant biochemical pathways, introducing to us the concepts of optimisation,
and perhaps most importantly, being approachable and allowing our team to consult her throughout the course of our project. She gave us useful and practicable advice
- for example, when we were not able to get good fits based on our model, she told us to take into consideration the time for RFP maturation.
We would also like to thank Dr. Maurice LING from AdvanceSyn, who helped us perform sensitivity analysis using the AdvanceSyn Toolkit, a suite of open-sourced tools for model development and model analysis with an emphasis on systems biology, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering.
During the initial stages of our project, the use of RNA aptamers was one of our research focus. Unfortunately, we have been unsuccessful in our constructions. The wet-lab team from CUHK helped us to redesign our constructs involving aptamers,
as well as the primers for these constructions, which eventually led to successful constructions.
We would like to sincerely thank Team NTU for helping us to characterise our new biobrick parts:
Their expertise in real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was extremely useful in helping our team generate quality characterization data for several of our biobricks.
Team Toulouse and Team ULaval helped us develop a comprehensive coverage in our education and engagement activities.
The three teams worked closely together to produce a handy and engaging booklet which comprehensively summarizes the pertinent issues surrounding synthetic biology
- Team Toulouse authored a section on ethical concerns in synthetic biology, Team ULaval authored another section on the cultural and social aspects of synthetic biology.
Our education and public engagement events would not have been possible without the support of the NUS Biomedical Engineering Club, NUS Tembusu College, and NUS Ridge View Residential College. They provided us with an invaluable platform to anchor our education and engagement events.
We would like to thank the researchers who have taken time off from their busy schedules to speak at our events,
and the staff of the pre-university institutions in Singapore for being so forthcoming in sharing details of our events with their students.
In particular, we would like to thank Assistant Professor Raye Yeow, the advisor to the NUS Biomedical Engineering Club,
as well as the chairperson of the Biomedical Engineering Society Student Chapter (BES-SC), for their support and endorsement of our educational event,
Life Hacks! 2018, and for kindly helping us to disseminate the details of our event to the wide network of student groups associated with BES-SC.
We are equally grateful to the researchers Dr. Sonja Luz, who shared with us exciting developments intersecting synthetic biology and environmental conservation,
Dr. Owen Schaefer, who made us think deeply about the ethical and legal issues surrounding the field of synthetic biology,
and Associate Professor Lisa Ng,
who shared with us humbling experiences of her work as a female researcher in synthetic biology.
All of these thoughtful speakers and leaders in the field, have taken time off their busy schedules to grace our events.
With their immense expertise and wealth of knowledge, we were able to educate our participants holistically.
We would like to thank the following people who attended our rehearsals, and gave us constructive and actionable feedback
- Professor CHUA Kee Chiang, Associate Professor LOH Ai Poh, Professor James GOH,
Mr. David BOO KOH Hua Jie, Mr. Jackie TAN Yen, and Mr. Brian Shohei TEO.
Last but not least, we would like to thank our sponsors who have very generously showed their support for our team this year.
To find out more about their organisations, click here.
We would like to thank Mr. CHEE Wai Kit David, Mr. Wilbert Biao-Hui TAN, Ms. DONG Thi Anh
Khue, and Mr. Zixu Shawn TIAN for sharing with us their invaluable experience gleaned from
participating in iGEM 2017, and teaching us how to navigate through the administrative
requirements and financial matters.
We would like to acknowledge Dr. LING Hua for providing us with the E. coli strains BL21*
Our hardware fabrication would not be possible had it not been for the generous support of the
Engineering Design and Innovation Centre’s Electronics Workshop, the Engineering Fabrication
Laboratory, and the MedTech Product Realisation Studio. Thank you for allowing us free use of
the fabrication and electronics equipment such as the 3D printers, laser cutter, and soldering
Mr. MUHAMMED Abdurrahiem bin Abdul lent us 10 Arduino Unos so that we could commence
our work immediately, instead of simply waiting idly for our own orders to arrive.
Miss TAN Annie gave us food for body and soul, while Mr. YIP Chi Ho, Justin supplied us with
his personal brand of sardonic humour and acrylic glue in equal measure. Additionally, we
inherited a set of legendary ball bearings from Mr. Brian Shohei TEO. These 4 ancient (much like
their original owner) bearings were salvaged from the flying machine he created as part of his
undergraduate dissertation, the Phoenix. Both this set of ball bearings and his oft macabre,
perpetually facetious jokes helped motivate our hardware team greatly. But most importantly,
all of these people were kind.
Mr. SAJJAD Ali introduced us to Russian culture, provided intellectual stimulation, and also lent
us acrylic glue. If you’re noticing a theme here, it’s because our life was in pieces and
unfortunately we needed acrylic glue in industrial quantities. Not to drink and thus end our
misery, but to make our cuvettes watertight. This was accomplished once Mr Jonathan
AMBROSE lent us his Acrifix cement, for which we are eternally grateful. The hardware team has
no comment on whether we still need to pull ourselves together.
We thank Mr. TAN Kang Lek, Clarence for generously lending us his prized Pentax K-1 Mark II
and tripod, often on very short notice.
We would like the sincerely apologize if we have inadvertently missed anyone out.
HEAR OUR STORY
We’re using synthetic biology to change the way the world thinks and functions.
We’re a little disruptive, dangerous and maybe a tad too bold. But the world needs some shaking up every now and then, and we think we’re just the right people for that.
Together we’re going to engineer biology and create something awesome.