As the saying goes, "Together, we are stronger." Having a reliable partner is crucial for the long journey, especially in the iGEM competition. So, we teamed up with NYCU_Formosa and worked together for ten months. We collaborated on human engagement, experimental and model technique sharing and more. These close and necessary partnerships helped improve both of our projects.

Jan. | Experimental Workshop

Experimental Workshop - Learning the basic experimental skills with each other

From January 10th to January 12th, 2023, our 8th NTHU_Taiwan team had the opportunity to participate in a basic laboratory course hosted by the 2022 NYCU_Formosa team with the members of 2023 NYCU_Formosa team. The objective of this course was to cultivate our fundamental laboratory skills. During this experiment, we engaged in a series of procedures, including sterilization, culturing, gel extraction, colony PCR, and more. Through these experiments, we not only familiarized ourselves with the laboratory environment but also prepared ourselves for future experimental work.

Jun. | 1st Online Meeting & Establishing partnership

1st Online Meeting - Discussing the Lab meeting related arrangement & Establishing partnership

Over the past five months, we have been consistently engaging in discussions with NYCU_Formosa regarding questions related to the iGEM competition. However, due to the course workload increasing through the semester, these interactions have been limited to online communication.

Following the completion of final exam, on June 19, 2023, we had a discussion with the Human Practice team members of NYCU_Formosa about how to further collaborate. During this meeting, we decided the date and procedures for our exchange meeting between two teams. This event aims to facilitate mutual acquaintance, project sharing, and the potential for collaborative experiments between the two iGEM teams from our respective schools. Besides, it's this online meeting that we established the partnership between NTHU_Taiwan & NYCU_Formosa .

July | Lab Meeting

Lab Meeting - Exchange project idea

This exchange meeting marked the first time NTHU_Taiwan and NYCU_Formosa met in person. In addition to getting to know each other, during the exchange, we first shared the current progress of both teams' projects and then provided suggestions to each other, aiming to contribute to the smooth advancement of our respective projects.

Subsequently, the teams from both schools, including WL (Wet Lab), HP (Human Practice), and DL (Dry Lab), engaged in in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing.

Through this exchange, we hope to offer substantial assistance to each other's projects. In the WL aspect, we recommended them not to use E. coli for synthesizing the anticipated proteins, as it cannot undergo post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications. In return, they advised us to understand the principles and reasons for using circRNA as a biomarker, such as why we chose circRNA as a biomarker and how it increases expression in the context of colorectal cancer.

In the HP aspect, we provided ideas regarding multimedia collaboration, while they reminded us to be aware of changes in competition rules, enabling us to make timely adjustments to our competition preparations.

We are very grateful to NYCU_Formosa for sharing ideas with us this time, which made us notice the details that we didn't figure out before the iGEM Taiwan Seminar.

Aug. | 2nd Online Meeting & Podcast Collaboration

2nd Online Meeting - Discussing the arrangement of Mock Competition

For this exchange, in order to ensure both teams are well-prepared for the competition, we have decided to organize a mock competition and also invite senior peers from previous editions to be the audience, providing us with feedback. Additionally, we discuss key points and techniques for iGEM presentations together, with the goal of both teams delivering outstanding performances during the actual competition.

Podcast collaboration

We collaborated with NYCU_Formosa for a podcast, where we shared our project and not only brought synthetic biology knowledge but also hoped to provide a better understanding of what the iGEM competition is and how it works to the general public. If you get interested, please click the start button below! NYCU Formosa Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwBSoX5krIE

Sep. | Mock competition & Barbie Lab Collaboration

Mock Competition - Rehearsal and Participate in the physical report simulation together

On September 16th, we organized a mock competition and invited senior peers and professors to be our audience, providing us with valuable feedback.

During this mock competition, we practiced two different presentation formats: a 15-minute report followed by a 5-minute Q&A session and a 5-minute report followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. This was our first attempt at a theatrical-style performance, and although there is still room for improvement, through this practice session, we received valuable feedback from NYCU_Formosa, our senior peers, and the professors, like the etiquette in responding, the proper way to handle a microphone, and other minor details. This feedback will help us present our reports in a more comprehensive, engaging and interesting way to the audience.

Barbie Lab Collaboration

In August, we NTHU_Taiwan hopped on the trend of the Barbie movie, creating our very own Barbie lab.

Apart from showcasing our daily laboratory activities, we also aim to convey that research is not always dull and boring, and we want to bring the fun side of iGEM to the public.

In September, NYCU_Formosa also recorded a reel, joining the Barbie lab series!

If you're interested, you can follow us on Instagram (igem_nthu) to stay updated!