Team:SCUT/HP/Magazine/iGEM Story


Grow Together with iGEM in My Freshman Year By Yaran, Zhizheng, Bihong

1. The Accident Beginning

In October 2013, I just graduated from the high school and started to get familiar with the college life while enjoy the warm autumn in Guangzhou. One day, I saw the iGEM conference banner accidently and at that time SCUT team hoped to recruit new member who was passionate with biology. And I started to know iGEM held by MIT is an international competition on the basis of synthetic biology and attracted more than 200 universities all around the world.

2. The Decisive Participation

From my perspective, as a student who majors in biology, I should devote my passion to science and I applied for it immediately and prepared for the interview. During the interview, all the candidates tried to show their ability to make the team. Luckily, I was selected into the lab group. Obviously, and the lab group is the best option for me as I’m a biology student. Hence, the most significant adventure of my school life started.

3. The Hard Training

Owing to enhance the multiple capacities of the new members, and have a deep-going understanding of iGEM competition, the team leader adopted the way which 3 people in a group, one week limitation to present the classic project of iGEM. It’s an unforgettable experience, first problem is English paper, due to lack of vocabulary I had to spend more time on the dictionary. Second, because my limitation of profound knowledge in biology, I had a really difficult time. During this time , some of the members thought it is an impossible mission and gave up moving on. But, with the love of biology, I persisted in my dream, and after one month training, I had a better understanding of iGEM.

4. The Start of iGEM Life

In the Spring Festival, every member returned to school very early, and started to design the project. From then on, iGEM life began. About one week later, the team was divided into three groups including environment, energy and medicine. And we started to read all kinds of project related to this and searched the Internet for useful information. Everyone devoted themselves to the team, and one month later, we started to have a concept of our project.

At that time, some fellows can’t overcome the intensive life, and the team registration was coming, and leaders started the second selection. I was so lucky that I made the team while I was one of two freshmen students in iGEM team. After that, we focused on project design the whole March. In April and May, we optimized our project and began to search the sequence of gene and protein. In May, we learned the basic technique of experiments. Because of the final exams, we stopped and prepared for the exams in June.

5. The Joy and Pain

When I am looking back, it’s a bitter but sweet experience——we can fully use of imagination and ideas and also design innovative projects. But at the same time, we had to enrich our knowledge via reading lots of papers. We had to learn how to use different database including gene bank , NCBI ect, at that time I started to realize the multifunction of library. Owing to lack of knowledge, my designs have been rejected one by one, but I did’t give up because I believed I would find my best answer.

Today is 5 August 2014, it has been 9 month since my first participation in SCUT-iGEM. Nowadays, I still work in the lab as usual for our dream.