On this page we have gathered all the contributions we have made for the iGEM community. This journey has had its ups and downs. And those ups and downs have been the most instructive moments during this experience. They have taught us a lot and we feel that by sharing those moments we can help future teams navigate through their project a little easier. Since the project is not only about the lab, we wanted to make sure to add contributions from other sub teams as well.
Our team has added 4 new genes to the iGEM Registry of Standard Biological Parts. The codons of the
genes are optimized specially for Synechocystis. In addition to these, 10
basic parts and 4 new
composite part were added to the iGEM Registry. Our parts can be used by future iGEM teams for mercury
bioremediation. Hopefully, the parts will take our project even further or apply them to something new
in the hands of future iGEM teams!
More information about our parts can be found on the Parts page.
To assess the mercury detoxification abilites of our modified Synechocystis
needed to be done. For this our team designed various different approaches specifically designed for
this project. We aimed to evaluate the function of our modified Synechocystis strains in vivo compared
to a wildtype control, using methylmercury and mercuric(II)chloride.
More about the measurement can be found on our Design page.
Team ABOA 2023 managed to do something new. It united students and different universities in Turku. Starting off with mostly bio-students we soon realized there should be more diversity in know-how. New team members were added to the team and so the complete ABOA 2023 team was finally formed. This year’s team was not only formed by students from the University of Turku but also students from Åbo Akademi University and Turku University of Applied Sciences. Because diversity and unity are two of our team values, we want to continue the unity between the universities also in the future and will reach out to new faculties when possible. We will assist the new team ABOA 2024 to a great start when passing on the baton and helping them in every possible way.
Being a young team we did not yet have a wide network to support us. We have reached out to
companies, the press, institutions and different communities thereby making iGEM better known to the
wider public in Finland.
Our team has also been working closely with the other Finnish team Aalto-Helsinki. We hope to maintain a good relationship between the Finnish teams and encourage other universities across Finland to establish their own iGEM teams. We have been discussing with Sekvenssi ry, the Club of Synthetic Biology, board of having their members from Tampere join team ABOA next year. This will spread the iGEM community to Tampere and the start of a possible new team in Finland.
Thus far there are only two iGEM teams in Finland. For this reason maintaining a good relationship with the wider Nordic iGEM community is important because of the joined support and unity. By winning this year’s Nordic iGEM Conference (NiC) we got the great honor to host NiC 2024 and pass on the “golden pipette” to the next year’s winner.
As said on our education page, education is a lifelong journey that does not end at graduation. We took all age groups into consideration when working on our project’s educational section. It took a lot of time, work and planning to come up with materials suitable for each particular age group. By sharing our educational materials we hope future teams will make good use of them and all age groups could be included in synthetic biology in the future as well. All materials are collected in the following PDF file.
Check our educational materials below or here!
ABOA is a fairly new team in the iGEM community. This comes with its own challenges, one being finances. Companies have been hesitant to sponsor our team’s iGEM journey as it is new and not widely known. In addition to contacting companies we came up with new innovative ways of raising money: crowdfunding and workshops.
We set up our crowdfunding through Kulttuurilahja platform. Being accepted to Kulttuurilahja required us to write an overview of our project, marketing strategy and advertisement pictures. Kansan Sivistysrahasto supported the project by donating an additional 20 % to all donations made. Crowdfunding is a good way to raise money but in order to be successful it requires a good marketing plan to gain visibility. During the summer holidays it is harder to raise funds and that is why visibility and timing are key elements in succession.
In addition to crowdfunding we got funds from a synthetic biology workshop that was held by our team in order to raise money and awareness of synthetic biology. A lot of time and planning is required to organize these workshops. Our workshop was aimed at the working population with an interest in lab work and synthetic biology. A suitable space for the workshop needed to be arranged as well as all the materials and simple yet interesting lab work. In order to succeed, the marketing needed to be directed at the working population who are willing to pay for this experience. Unfortunately our workshop did not go through.
As said previously, marketing has a key role in fundraising. It is important to understand your target audience and make content suitable for them. Crowdfunding was advertised on social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, ABOA website) on both personal and team accounts. This helped us to reach family, friends and acquaintances. Taking part in events gave visibility and a way to make iGEM better known to the wider public and raise funds. We took part in the Study in Turku event that gave us a chance to make iGEM better known to the wider public, especially students. Our workshop and crowdfunding flyers were on display at the event. For the workshop we needed to target a whole new audience. We contacted local influencers who would be interested in doing a collaboration. They got to attend our workshop for free in exchange for advertising our workshop on their social media. This collaboration reached many viewers that we otherwise would not have reached. Marketing coming directly from a better known person makes people more willing to spend their money.