University of Calgary



Collaboration was a very important part of our project. Having a large team with diverse students working on four subprojects (lab, modelling, Second Life and Human Practices), it was very important that team members communicated and collaborated well with each other. We had a variety of ways to do this. First, through our blog, 'Synthetic Blogology', we were able to keep everyone up to date on what each of the different subprojects had accomplished on a weekly basis, as well as what their goals were for the upcoming week. We also had weekly team meetings where we would discuss accomplishments and future directions. Lastly, our Wiki Notebook, where team members recorded what they did on a day-to-day basis also helped us keep everyone on the same page.

Collaboration between teams is a very important part of the iGEM competition as well. Not only is helping another team a gold medal requirement for the competition, but it's a great way to meet students from around the world and learn a bit about what they're up to. We are all working towards the purpose of promoting a synthetic biology community, and this clearly requires cooperation between teams. Beyond collaborating within our own team, this year we had a variety of opportunities to collaborate with other teams.

We collaborated with the University of Chicago and University of Illinois teams in the creation of an Outreach kit to be used by future iGEM teams. Interestingly enough, we were first contacted by UChicago through our blog! Although mainly used as a tool for communication within our own team, it has also provided us with the opportunities to work with other teams. Further details regarding our outreach kits can be found HERE.

We also had a chance to work with the University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge teams during our regional team meet-ups. At the Lethbridge Presentation Skills and Wiki workshop, we were able to spend a couple hours helping each other with various Wiki issues. The Lethbridge team for example, had a problem with using images as links, and Mandy was able to help them correct the code for this. Both Alberta and Lethbridge teams were able to help us figure out some issues with our CSS coding. The meet ups were also a chance for teams to critique each others' projects and presentations, which was very beneficial in the shaping of our final projects. For more information on the Alberta regional team meetups, visit our overview HERE.

We also helped a few teams with their ethical surveys. Our whole team participated in the Valencia Synthetic Biology Ethics survey, becoming the largest team to have all members complete it. A few of our team members also helped out the TUDelft team by completing their Ethics survey. For more details on the Valencia team survey in particular, please click HERE.

Finally, we helped out the UNIPV-Pavia team by sending them plasmid of one of the parts that we sequenced last year (Bbapart #) as they were having problems with the DNA from the Registry.