Collaboration with the iGEM Team from SDU-Denmark

We invited the iGEM Team from the Southern University of Denmark to Bielefeld to share and exchange knowledge and of course to meet another iGEM team. On the 25th of September Asbjørn Müller, Andreas Kjær, Malou Reedorf and Ida Appel visited us on a surprinsingly sunny saturday in Bielefeld. Most of the german iGEM teams (Bielefeld,Bonn, Darmstadt, Göttingen, Marburg, Munich (LMU and TU) and Tübingen had organized a common day in each city across Germany to inform about iGEM, Synthetic Biology and to present their projects. We thought that extending the common day to other European teams would be great, so the SDU-Denmark team also presented their project and helped us to communicate with the guests. We think that both for our teams and for the guests the cooperation between the teams was a great success and an enrichment. The pedestrians, who visited our booth, could see that young scientists from different countries can work together to find innovative solutions. We also wanted to show that teams from all over the world are encouraged in Synthetic Biology, trying to find new solutions for old problems.

Together we talked with a lot of people, showed microorganisms and isolated DNA from different fruits to educate about the basics of modern life sciences. We also had organized some games for kids (see here: Street Science).

On Sunday both teams presented their projects and after that we had a long discussion trying to find solutions for each other’s problems in lab. We further discussed both our modeling approaches and how to improve it.

Main discussion points were:

  • To find a solution for our problem with the expression of some laccases
  • To try to find mechanisms like kill-switches and intracellular regulations to improve the safety of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and thus to promote the possibility of the use of GMOs in an open system (like in humans)
  • To look for similarities in modeling
  • To try to help each other with the wiki-design

Of course, we also used the evenings to get to know each other and to have some fun. The top-priority when getting in touch with german culture is tasting a small sip of beer and listening to David Hasselhoff.

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