Team:Tartu TUIT/Collaborations

Collaboration with Stony Brook iGEM team

In the beginning of June Stony Brook iGEM team from New York contacted us with an offer to participate in iGEM Photo a Day Instagram challenge. From our side we shared interesting photo themes for their challenge! The idea of the collaboration was to share photos featuring the project idea, supervisors and other images, which would relate to the corresponding photo descriptions and hashtags. We enjoyed participation in this collaboration a lot, because it united our team more and we were also happy to share our iGEM work creatively with the whole Instagram world!

Collaboration with Tec de Monterrey iGEM team

In the beginning of July we got in touch with Tec de Monterrey iGEM team from Mexico via a video conference and discussed our projects. Tec de Monterrey team kindly agreed to gather information on sunscreen usage, popularity in Mexico, while we provided them with information concerning the amount of pollutes in water in Estonia!

Collaboration with Ecuador iGEM team

In July, we also contacted an iGEM team from Ecuador via a video call and discussed how Ecuador locals protect themselves from the sun and whether they are aware of commercial sunscreen harmfulness. Furthermore, we exchanged project overviews and discussed experience in collaborations with other teams. Ecuador team also shared their experience concerning relationships inside the team, how the work has been distributed, and gave us useful advices on how to distribute our work most effectively.

We interviewed Ecuador iGEM team members about sunscreen usage in Ecuador. From the interview it can be concluded, that people in Ecuador are more than supposed to wear sunscreen, because the UV index is extremely high and sunlight lasts for a long time during the day. In addition to it being the only tool to protect themselves from the sun, they are required to wear sunscreen throughout the year.

Most of the population does not know about the harmfulness of the sunscreens to the environment. However, it is forbidden to use sunscreens in water on Galapagos Islands.

We have also discussed an issue of gene technology field oppression in Ecuador by GMO-free trend supporting government. That is why we discussed the importance of organizing seminars, lectures to school children in order for them to have a wider outlook on the gene technology as well as other innovative biology related fields

From the practical part of work they have suggested that we could perform transformations of our plasmids into different species of yeast in order to compare the efficiency.

Collaboration with OUC iGEM team

In the end of July, the OUC iGEM team from China reached out to us with a collaboration request. We immediately agreed to collaborate with them and translated their creative comic book about synthetic biology into Estonian and Russian languages.

Collaboration with Tec CEM team

Later in July, we contacted Tec CEM iGEM team. During a video call we discussed our projects, current progress and further plans. Moreover, we discussed their "Labs Like Me" video collaboration request and enjoyed participating in it!

Collaboration with HebrewU team

In the beginning of August, we contacted Hebrew University iGEM team from Israel in order to discuss our collaboration ideas. They agreed to make a survey for us about the sunscreen usage by the Google form and from our side we did a research about TCDD polluted areas in Estonia and together we analyzed information regarding exposure of the material in Estonia. On 5th of September our team participated in their livestream conference about the latest news of synthetic biology. Our team enjoyed the lecture and further interactive discussion with professor Jonathan Gressel a lot!

Carroll iGEM Team Mike the Microbe

In the end of July Carroll iGEM team contacted us with a collaboration offer of taking picture with Mike the Microbe, an iGEM World travelling large friendly bacterium. Mike fit in our team really well!

Collaboration with Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team

In the beginning of July we reached out to Aalto-Helsinki iGEM team from Finland. As the idea of their project was to produce proteins, which already have colours and use those dyes to dye materials we noticed, that both of our project ideas can be applied in cosmetics field. After a video conference we had several creative ideas on how to potentially combine our projects:

  1. Hair protection from UV light by including sun protecting compounds which can be included in the dye.
  2. Combining our sunscreen and Aalto-Helsinki’s dye in order to distinguish whether a person still has a sunscreen on or not - if the skin is coloured then the sunscreen is still present and if not, then it’s removed by water and need to reapply it (would mainly be useful for children).
  3. Mixing the dye with UV absorbing lipstick.

To pursue with collaboration in a more practical way we came up with an interactive bilateral collaboration. The idea was based on visiting each other’s biggest science events. On 23rd of September part of our team travelled to Finland to organize a workshop at event of Heureka’s Science Centre! We explained synthetic biology principles and our project idea in a play form to local visitors (check our board games instructions!) We truly appreciate Aalto-Helsinki team’s help with organizing our workshop!

On the 28th of September we organized a workshop at the Researchers’ Night Festival held in Ahhaa Science Centre. Our team was happy to welcome Aalto-Helsinki team members in Tartu, Estonia, and help them with translation and explanation of their experiments to local visitors!

Photomosaic challenge

In the beginning of September we contacted iGEM teams all over the world and offered a collaboration opportunity! The idea was to create a photomosaic of stylish lab photos, which would make up the word "iGEM" and express unity of iGEMers: combining the world, synthetic biology and teams in lab all around the world. For a collaboration we asked teams to send 3-5 photos with an original lab-look/ composition.