This year we made great communication with other teams. We held direct collaboration of projects with team NUDT-China (National University of Defense Technology) and XJTLU-China (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University). We also had communications with the team Gifu from Japan. To improve the understanding about brain diseases and the possibilities of synthetic biology through public engagement among high school students, We held a special event in Nanjing_NFLS (Nanjing Foreign Language School) .
We appreciate the great help of NUDT-China. They gave us some precious advice about our project and helped us carry out the cell viability experiment, which proved that our manipulation did no harm to the cell, setting up a good start of our project.
This year, the project of XJTLU-China is related to our project in 2015, the opioid, so we gave much help of their project. We instructed them to improve their experiment plan, since we have more experience manipulating the exosomes. In addition, they brought their cells to our lab, and with our facilities and our instruction, they extracted the exosomes and did NTA (nanoparticle tracking analysis) in our lab. When they were in great need of staining reagent, we provided them with our pigment Dil.
During the giant jamboree last year, team Gifu and our team established a good relationship with each other. So this year we decided to keep contact with each other. Fortunately, Gifu has recruited a Chinese member, Wei Youyi, so during her summer vacation we invited her to our school to exchange some experiences in the competition.
We started our meeting with the introduction of our project. The team leader of Gifu sent us profiles about their project, and we found that they were working about a mass-production of functional protein with circular mRNA in cell-free system, and we exchanged ideas about RNA elements.
Since we are teams from different countries, we spent some time discussing the way people carrying out experiments in different laboratories. We gave a tour about academy and labs in our school to Wei Youyi and showed her the safety disciplines in our lab, and we found that safety is the highest principle in both labs we work in.
Collaborating with Nanjing_NFLS, we got access to discuss our projects and help each other in a more profound way. As both of our teams wanted to share our projects and understandings of synthetic biology to the general public, we together held a special event for students in NFLS. Nanjing_NFLS helped to find the place for this lecture and invited students from synthetic biology club, who showed really great interest in biology. Both of our teams provided vivid presentations, sharing what synthetic biology and iGEM competition is and how we perform our subjects.
The lecture turned out to be a big success —students got fully engaged in the activities and a lot of them wrote their feelings about this lecture. It sparked students’ scientific curiosity and many of them even changed their views towards brain diseases.
It is a pleasure to collaborate with Nanjing_NFLS to held such a meaningful and influential event. It not only helps high school students to rediscover “horrible diseases”, but also sparks their scientific curiosity in Biology learning. We really appreciate and treasure this event.
More details about the special lecture are here.