Public Relations



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Symposia or Festivals

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Night of Art and Science

Bacterial Beauty: the Art of Science
Artist Leen van Wijngaarden was fascinated by the colors and shapes of bacterial colonies and decided to make art with them. Not just a pretty picture on a regular agar plate (like this well-known example), but on a large scale. This should produce nice paintings, which keep evolving. The results were to be exposed during the culture festival "The Night of Art and Science".
Left to right: Renske, Elbrich, Wlada, Arjan & Tom in front of the Bio-Billboard

Bacterial Beauty meets iGEM

The iGEM team met Leen at the right time: from helping with the setup, iGEM got a bigger role in the project and started to design their own drawings. Because of the microbiological background of many team members, we could help Leen not only during the making of the pictures, but we could also take the oppurtunity to teach the visitors of the Night about the beauty of bacteria, their use, synthetic biology and our project.

But there is more...

Apart from exposing the bio-paintings and the huge "bio-billboard", time lapse movies of bacteria growing on a normal plate and microscopic images of bacteria were shown. Furthermore, in aid of explaining about synthetic biology, our team showed some paintings with an overview of our project.

As an extra feature, a "bacterial wall of fame" was built, with handprints of "famous people from Groningen" was made. People, including some iGEM members, had pressed their hands on agar plates, which where afterwards incubated over night. At the night, this showed a nice diversity of skin inhabitants...

Press about Bacterial Beauty

Local newspaper, “de Groninger Gezinsbode” (see left)
Front page of the Groninger Gezinsbode

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen “Faculteitsnieuwsbrief” (click here)

Weblog “de Nacht” (click here)

Filmimpression of the festival (click here)

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iGEM Calgary 2012

Emily Hicks from the winning iGEM team in 2011 and now member of iGEM Calgary 2012, has studied in Groningen during her (short) exchange period. And she was very interested in her iGEM Groningen colleagues; therefore we asked her to give a lecture about her previous iGEM experience. We we're really motivated by Emily's tips concerning medal requirements, information about wiki etc. Thanks Emily!

Dutch iGEM teams (iGEM Wageningen, Amsterdam, Delft, Eindhoven)

On the 10th of July all Dutch iGEM met in Wageningen for the first mini-symposium (Greek for meeting and having a drink together). We could share our ideas, get in touch with other team colleagues and present our team subject. See video “Symposium iGEM Netherlands 2" (posted on July 9 2012) The iGEM Groningen presentation starts at time point 1:42. After these serious talks, a great dinner was served: we had a BBQ inside an old school building. The lab space as very suitable as dinner space. And there are more interesting symposia to come. On the 6th of September we are invited for the next iGEM- The Netherlands symposium in Eindhoven. And also Amsterdam invited us for a next one.

After the wiki freeze, all Dutch iGEM teams work together on a nice activity: during the Discovery Festival on Friday 28 September located in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven, the teams aim to get the public in touch with Synthetic Biology in a playful way. We want to let them guess about the ideas of previous iGEM teams and humbug. Or in other words, Synthetic Biology: Science or Science Fiction?

Besides these Dutch iGEM meetings and the Discovery Festival, we also collaborated with Wageningen and Amsterdam on a molecular level. Many times our transformation of E.coli failed, so we ran out of the backbone biobricks for Bacillus subtilis. Luckily Wageningen and Amsterdam we’re so kind to provide us with their bricks. Thank you guys!

iGEM Uppsala

At the beginning of August we received the chromo proteins amilCP (blue), amilGFP (yellow) from iGEM Uppsala 2011 ( We hope we can use BBa_K592009 and BBa_K592010 for the coloring system we want to use in B. subtilis.

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iGEM Cambridge

Together with iGEM Cambridge we want to develop a sporulation and germination protocol for Bacillus subtilis. The whole idea of Bacillus spores that can be stored and used only at a desired time point is the same goal iGEM Groningen and iGEM Cambridge want to achieve, therefore a collaboration would be very advantageous.

iGEM LMU Munich

This iGEM team is also working on B. subtilis and therefore an ideal partner for testing each other’s constructs. They sent us 6 plasmids and 4 promoters and we are using them for testing. Hopefully we are able to return our constructs to them soon!

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iGEM Virginia

To be determined....