This year, at iGEM Team ICT Mumbai, we developed an easy-to-use tool to BioBrick DNA parts. We call it BBrickIt. Based on our experience while BioBricking our parts, we found ourselves alternating between many programs as well as the task of manually adding the prefix and suffix based on several criteria as defined by the RFC10 standard. We therefore decided to develop a software that would enable a user to perform all actions required for biobricking their standards in a single interface. More information about our software can be found here. We contacted this year's iGEM teams and requested them to try out the software and provide their feedback and suggestions. Many teams filled out our survey regarding the software including Team VIT Vellore. They also tried out our software for their sequence and sent us a screenshot of the same!

Feedback from iGEM teams

Many teams asked us to make a comprehensive user manual for this software and without any delay we created one and shared with all of them. The user manual can be accessed on our software page here.

We initially uploaded a .exe file on Github, which worked only on the Windows operating system. As the MacOS is also widely used, we also uploaded a MacOS version of BBrickIt on the GitHub repository.

Reviews of BBrickIt

Numerous teams tried out our software and we got superb responses from many of them. Kalyani from iGEM UCSD commended our software saying, “Amazing Work!”

iGEM IISER Kolkata were extremely happy to “bypass the hectic job of having to think of prefix and suffix sites, scars, illegal sites etc. before planning to clone anything in the standard vectors!” They used our software with 5 genes that were part of their project, and it worked amazingly well and without any bug.

Kyle from iGEM Washington University, St. Louis said, “The tool is easy to use and well outlined.” This software would have helped them catch that they initially forgot to add the BioBrick prefix and suffix to their gene sequence!

iGEM ECUST said, “BBrickIt is a useful tool for iGEM teams in producing complete BioBricked part and is also very efficient.

Human Practices: iGEM WashU

Team WashU is working towards engineering yeast to produce a wheat rust resistance protein. As a collaboration activity, they expected to collect responses from variety of wheat farmers across the world. We helped them with relevant data from India. During one of our IHP visits, our team interacted with wheat farmers and collected responses to the specific questions sent by the WashU team. Team also provided the contacts of some farmers in India as part of the collaboration activity, thus helping them to improve their network of farmers and gain information about specifics of damage caused by wheat rust and their preventive measures.

Modeling: iGEM Tec Monterrey

Before going to actual in vitro studies, we wanted to check how our design of oscillatory circuit works in silico. We had already prepared a stochastic model of the circuit, but we wanted to verify it from experts. We had a discussion with iGEM Tec Monterrey to discuss about the project earlier in this iGEM Season and they helped us out with our modelling. They verified our program and equations for us, and suggested the concepts such as leakage transcription which we missed to take into account. Their help was very valuable in terms of refinement of modelling of our initial circuit design. Even though we were not able to gather the experimental data and decided to go about designing a different circuit, conversations with iGEM Tec Monterrey were highly informative and educative for our modeling experience.

Distance from Jamboree: iGEM Tec Monterrey-GDL

In this collaboration activity, Tec de Monterrey-Campus Guadalajara sent out requests to make a sign that said how far we were from Giant jamboree (Boston) in km along with the phrase #ScienceEverywhere. Then they wanted us to take a picture of one of our team members holding the sign board and send it to them. We, along with our well-wisher Dr. Suruchi Rao, performed this fun activity at the David Sassoon Library, a heritage site in Colaba, Mumbai.

Language Project: IIT-Madras

Team IIT-Madras is working towards spreading awareness about synthetic biology to as many people as possible, disregarding the barriers of their native language. To do so they have created a series of educational videos which they have translated into many regional languages for people all over the world. In collaboration with them, we contributed by translating their videos into Marathi and Urdu, two widely spoken languages in our country, India. It was a fun and enriching experience! Find the Urdu video hereand Marathi video here.

Science Sketch: NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi came up with the very creative idea of explaining the concepts and applications of synthetic biology to the world using simple, interactive animated sketches. They aimed at making a collaborative educational playlist with videos from teams all over the world, with the science sketches explaining about their projects and/or the scientific principle behind their project. Towards this collaboration, we made our very own sketch video describing our project and its applications.

Booklet Translation: Washington University

Team Washington this year created an outreach activity booklet with activities meant for schoolchildren. They wanted to be able to share this booklet with the iGEM community so that outreach becomes more accessible to every team. As a contribution to their effort, we helped them translate a part of their booklet into Hindi, a widely used language in our country. The translated part of the booklet can be found here.

Human Practices: IISER Mohali

Collaboration with IISER Mohali was focused on sharing valuable local information pertaining to our project. IISER Mohali gave us information about the farms, type of crops grown, amount of fertilizers used by farmers and common diseases seen in crops. They also informed us about the knowledge of phosphate solubilizing bacteria in the farming circle. They asserted that plant disease is not a problem for farmers but weeds are. Also they informed us that there is no knowledge of phosphate solubilizing bacteria among farmers. The information provided by them helped us shape our project towards the application of plant nutrition, and try to find a solution to curtail the growth of weeds.

Displaying our project on a global platform: ECUST China

Wechat Subscription is a platform available to everyone on which we can publish articles called WeChat Push, and Team ECUST is running a subscription about iGEM. Team ECUST in collaboration with us graciously converted our submitted project description to the standard format required by them and published our description as a WeChat Push article. They even translated our article to Chinese. The English version can be found hereand the Chinese version can be found here. In this way, our project reached many people in China.

Showcasing our project and Troubleshooting: IISER-Bhopal

Our team and IISER-Bhopal had a fulfilling collaboration. IISER-Bhopal presented our project at their event, iGEM Day, which aimed to spread awareness about real life world problems and the solutions of different teams around the world. They also helped us with troubleshooting our overlap extension PCR.

All India iGEM Meetup: IISc-Bangalore

This year, the IISc-Bangalore iGEM team organised the All-India iGEM meetup where six other teams from the country participated and discussed their projects. Team ICT-Mumbai was one of the them. We presented our project along with the other teams and gained valuable feedback and insights from them. Furthermore, we got to make many new friends too! It was a commendable effort by Team IISc-Bangalore.

Healthy Recipe: iGEM HAFS

Team HAFS is working towards finding optimal solution to diabetes. As a collaboration activity, they expected to collect healthy recipes from all around the world. ICT-Mumbai participated in this activity. We shared the recipe of 'Beetroot Raita', which is very commonly prepared in Maharashtrian households. The main ingredient, 'beetroot, has been found to have many health benefits such as lowering blood sugar, detoxification to name a few. This very easy to make, and very tasty at the same time, recipe was an excellent contribution to the healthy recipe initiative of iGEM team HAFS.

Mike the Microbe: Team US AFRL CarrollHS

Team US AFRL CarrollHS had designed 2 bacterium cartoons called “Mike the Microbe” and his friend “Chia the Chitanase”, they requested us to print the two microbes and take our pictures with them. It was fun taking pictures with the two.

Funniest Failure Experience: FUDAN-China

This year Team Fudan requested us to share the “funniest failure Experience in our experiments” to design their comic brochure aimed to add amusement to lab work and to remind everyone not to make such mistakes. We shared our funniest moment with them.

Science/Art Photo Contest: EPFL

Team EPFL had a wonderful collaboration idea: A photo competition that presents science in an artistic way! They believe that this is a way for them to open the dialogue about their project and more broadly, about synthetic biology with the public. We sent them two pictures as our entry for this competition!

The big online debate: UCL London

Team UCL opened up a forum to discuss whether Genetic Engineering should be easily accessible to the public or not. Our team contributed to this online debate by suggesting our own arguments as well as supporting and/or countering others' arguments.


Team iGEM ICT-Mumbai completed the following surveys as a part of collaboration activity:

Team Survey
IIT Kanpur To fight water pollution
UNebraska-Lincoln Invasive Species
UCopenhagen Public engagement of iGEM teams
TecCEM Burn General Knowledge
iGEM Bielefeld-CeBiTec Dual Use and Dual Use Research of Concern
SKLMT-China Chassis Bacteria and Nicotine
UC San Diego Creating a better iGEM environment for you
Uppsala A better iGEM for future teams!
Imperial College Team Communication and Issues
Thessaloniki Synthetic Biology
Pasteur_Paris Synthetic biology and infectious biofilms
Tokyo Suggestions regarding solving food issues
EPFL Making Cancer treatment more accessible and less expensive