Notebook Overview

    Learning synthetic biology

Before July, we had several courses about synthetic biology. We had a journal club almost every week where we shared the most classic experimental results in synthetic biology by presenting presentations. After this suffering yet satisfying process, we all gained the basic knowledge of synthetic biology and iGEM.


During June, we gathered for several times to discuss our project. Almost everyone proposed a fantastic yet reasonable idea. Those ideas, including making a sequence of DNA into a piece of music, developing a synthetic biology game and so on, were discussed one by one. At last, we decided to write an app on iPhone due to its portability and popularity. We wanted to demystify the synthetic biology! Then we presented this idea to our supervisor.

    Learning Objective-C

Since none of us had experience developing software on iPhone before, we spent about 10 days learning Objective-C, which is similar to the computer language C and C++. After that we learned how to use Xcode, which is a developing tool.

    Starting to work

We divided our project into two parts: user interface part and database part. We wrote code from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day. Sometimes we had to do extra work during the night. After a long and hard but exhilarating travel with Xcode, we finally virtually finished the mainframe work.

    A short vacation

We had a short vacation from 6th October to 12th October. Since most of our team members lived far away from Shenzhen, many of us got a chance to go home and stayed some time with parents.

    Back to project

After the vacation was the debugging and optimizing user interface time. It was truly an awful period. Sometimes it took us several days to locate and remove a bug. After about 10 days’effort, we finished our app eventually. We submitted out software to AppStore on 22nd October. Then we started to write the second software.

    Human practice time

While writing codes, we didn’t forget to do our human practice. We put on many posters about synthetic biology in our campus. We delivered a presentation to explain synthetic biology, iGEM game and our project to the new students this semester. And many of the new students were really interested in iGEM. Further more, we went to the local high school to introduce synthetic biology and iGEM.

    Rejection & Resubmission of the BioSearch

Our first app was rejected! This bad news shocked everyone. The reason was that we just used a private(illegal) API! We felt upset and disappointed. Only less than a month time was left, we had to work day and night. Half of our team members continued to write the second app, the other half started to rewrite the first one. After 10 days of torturous rewriting, we submitted our first software to AppStore again.

    Preparation of Asian Jamboree

Xiao Tong, Xin Yang and Mubing Zhou prepared for an attractive presentation. Jingyao Guo and Yiqi Jiang designed the poster, prepared the poster presentation. There was a great news that our app could be download in iTunes just several days before we participate in the Asain Jamboree. We had such a good time in HKUST! Please click here for details.

    Back to Work!!

Back from Hong Kong, we fixed several minor bugs in Biosearch and continued the work of Biodesign. Though the school begun, many activities were held, lots of homework need to be done and many quizs were comming, we finished the second software Biodesign with high quality !

And now,

America, we are coming!