Giant Jamboree/SpecialEvents


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The iGEM 2014 Giant Jamboree will take place at the Hynes Convention Center over the course of 4.5 days. We have over 130,000 square feet and over 30 available rooms available. All of this space affords us the opportunity to have more special events, panels, workshops, etc. than we have ever been able to host before. In addition to the main portion of the Jamboree which is the team presentations and posters as in the past, we are organizing and inviting others to organize additional special events.

New Track Workshops

Join in the discussion as each of the new tracks have a workshop on their specific topics:
• Art & Design
• Community Labs
• Measurement
• Policy & Practices
• Software
See the schedule for times and locations.

Networking @ iGEM

Did you love your experience at iGEM over the summer? Have you almost finished your degree? Are you looking for a postgraduate degree or a job and want to continue in synthetic biology? Are you looking for a student for your PhD program or lab? Are you looking to hire some of the brightest young minds in synthetic biology for your company? Come to our two networking events in the main auditorium!

Networking Bingo
Friday - October 31
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Our first event is Networking Bingo during the lunch session on Friday, 31st of October. Grab your lunch and come to the main auditorium. You will be given sheets with bingo questions and it will be your mission to get answers for all of them from someone else in the room. You’ll need to find someone from another team that meets each requirement and get their name and team. Prizes will be awarded!

iGEM Networking
The second event will take place over the course of the Jamboree. To participate in RGB Networking, pick a colored ribbon when you register for the event. The color of your ribbon is based on what you’re currently doing and what you’re looking for. Here are all the colors options:

• Undergrad seeking academic position
• Undergrad seeking industry position
• Grad seeking academic position
• Grad seeking industry position
• PI seeking students
• Company seeking employees

The Networking Bingo session will only run over lunch on Friday, but RGB Networking continues during the whole Jamboree, so keep your ribbon visible on your badge! Couldn’t register at the Auditorium on Friday? See the iGEM Headquarters desk in Hall D to get a ribbon. Remember, keep your eye open for colored badge and don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. Good luck meeting other iGEMers, PI’s, employers and good luck finding a new position!

Is safe-by-design a prerequisite for successful development of Synthetic Biology?

SYNENERGENE - National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
Friday October 31
Room 202
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Biosafety is an important issue when tools and techniques of synthetic biology are used and product applications become available. Besides product development, synthetic biology can also add to the design of safe products. For example, use of kill-switches or the future use of xeno-DNA in biosensors. When biosafety aspects are addressed very early in the design process, it is called ‘safe-by-design’. In this workshop, we want to discuss the possibilities of implementation of ‘safe-by-design’ principles in synthetic biology. What are the options? What are the technical feasibilities in respect to safety? Is it opportune to regard products as intrinsically safe when the principle of ‘safe-by-design is applied? Would this be helpful when discussing products with stakeholders and the public? Is it perhaps a prerequisite for the successful development of synthetic biology? Please join us in our workshop to discuss and explore the topic of ‘safe-by-design’!
A workshop commissioned by National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands.

Looking ahead: future scenarios as a useful tool for policy and practices?

Saturday and Sunday
Room 202
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

In order to ensure that developments in science and technology better align with views and values in society, increasingly more efforts are being made to organize societal dialogue. Given the crucial role of ‘policy and practices’ in iGEM, the competition is often viewed as a frontrunner in this regard. Therefore, the EU-funded project Synenergene – dedicated to responsible research and innovation in synthetic biology – teamed up with iGEM to promote dialogue on synthetic biology.
Discussing the potential impact and desirability of synthetic biology is however quite a challenge, since the field is still largely confined to the laboratory. So, how can we facilitate a meaningful dialogue on synthetic biology without too much speculation? To this end, future scenarios have proven a useful tool. Scenarios can visualize a future situation in which synthetic biology is plausibly applied and make us aware of potential moral issues. Eight iGEM teams were funded and assisted by Synenergene to develop a future scenario based on their very own iGEM project.
In this workshop, these iGEM teams will share their experiences on developing and using future scenarios and reflect on its potential as a useful tool for policy and practices.

Virgil Rerimassie, Wieke Betten and Dirk Stemerding
Rathenau Institute The Hague
Athena Institute Amsterdam

Frame reflection: turn your world view upside down!

Friday and Saturday
Room 202
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Always wanted to know what your view on the world actually comprises of? And interested to know where you stand in comparison to others?
The Frame Reflection Lab helps you to discover your own and other people’s worldview, and views on Synthetic Biology in particular. In the Frame Reflection Lab you can explore the roots of your thoughts in a playful manner. The lab is a controlled social environment where everything is possible and allowed, so the potential consequences of your thoughts and actions are kept to a minimum.
By participating in the lab, you will explore why people clash when talking about Synthetic Biology, (controversial) science, and new technologies in general. We make you play with several techniques to embrace the diversity of world views that people adhere to; an essential skill for all scientists and innovators in the making.
Frank Kupper and Marjoleine van der Meij
Athena Institute Amsterdam

Modeling Biology with SimBiology

Friday - October 31
Room 304
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Mathematical modeling is an indispensable component of synthetic biology, and the iGEM competition. Modeling and simulation enables synthetic biologists to test the feasibility of their designs prior to fabrication, thus cutting down on trial and error. Every year, iGEM teams successfully use modeling as a tool to guide and optimize the design of their genetic assemblies.
In this workshop, we will introduce iGEM teams to SimBiology, a MATLAB-based tool for modeling, simulating and analyzing biological systems. Using an example from synthetic biology, we will demonstrate key features, including:

• Block diagram model building environment
• Model exploration methods, including sensitivity analysis
• Parameter estimation techniques
• Advanced analysis via custom analysis tasks written in MATLAB

Plants for iGEM

Jim Haseloff & Cambridge-JIC iGEM Team
Diego Orzaez & Valencia-UPV iGEM Team
Nicola Patron & NRP-UEA iGEM Team

Friday - October 31
Room 306
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Synthetic Biology offers the prospect of reprogrammed biological systems for improved and sustainable bioproduction. While early efforts in the field have been directed at microbes, the engineering of plant systems provides even greater potential benefits. In contrast to microbes, plants are already globally cultivated at extremely low cost, harvested on the giga-tonne scale, and routinely used to produce the widest range of biostuffs, from fibres, wood, oils, sugar, fine chemicals, drugs to food. Plants are genetically facile, and GM plants are currently grown on the >100 million hectare scale. Plant systems are ripe for synthetic biology, and any improvement in the ability to reprogram metabolic pathways or plant architecture will have far-reaching consequences. So why isn’t there more work with plants in iGEM?
This workshop will provide a forum for discussion of recent technical advances in plant sciences, which promise to speed botanical engineering. These include (i) the development of a common syntax for plant gene architecture and assembly, (ii) simple vector systems, (iii) fast new chassis for transgenic plant work and (iv) rapid transient assay using plant leaves. Participants at the workshop will also discuss what additional resources might be required to facilitate work with plants in iGEM.

Building Utopia (using biological parts)

Rob Carlson
Friday - October 31
Room 302
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Scientists and engineers around the globe dream of employing biology to create new objects. The eventual goal might be building replacement organs, electronic circuits, living houses, or cowborgs and carborgs (my favorites) that are composed of both standard electromechanical components and novel biological components. Whatever the dream, and however outlandish, we are getting closer every day. The demand for the products of biological technology is growing at a rapid rate. In 2012, U.S. revenues from genetically engineered systems reached more than $350 billion, or about 2.2 percent of GDP. More impressive still, between 2010 and 2012, biotechnology contributed 7 percent of annual U.S. GDP growth. There is every reason to think these numbers will continue to climb, and we should think carefully about how greater use of biological technologies will impact our lives. This will be a conversation and a workshop rather than a lecture. I will present some ideas and some data, and tell some stories, and together we will explore how to build the future. We are traveling a path that John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener set out on many decades ago. Physics and mathematics taught us what the rough possibilities should be. Chemistry and materials science have demonstrated many detailed examples of specific arrangements of atoms that behave physically in specific ways. Control theory has taught us how organisms behave over time and how to build robots that behave in similar ways. Now we are learning to program biology at the molecular level, with macroscopic effects. The space of the possible, of the achievable, is expanding on a daily basis. It is going to be an interesting ride. Some problems we will talk about will turn out to be harder than they appear today, and other problems will turn out to be much easier than they appear today. But the constraints of the past, including the oft-uttered phrase "biology doesn't work that way", do not apply. The future of engineering is not about understanding biology as we find it today, but rather about programming biology as we will build it tomorrow.

Startup Showcase

Friday - October 31
Room 204
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Celebrate entrepreneurial spirit at the iGEM start-up showcase. There will be lighting talks, and a Q&A panel on Friday from 4pm - 5.30pm and a permanent iGEM start-up hall of fame exhibition in room 204.

Perspectives from iGEM Veterans & Mentors

Friday and Sunday
Room 312

Come hear stories from veteran iGEM mentors who collectively have over 56 years of iGEM experience!
• Session 1 Friday 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
• Session 2 Sunday 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Paving the way to Grad school

Saturday - November 01
Room 201
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

This workshop will provide the information needed to submit a competitive application to graduate school. We will discuss how to maximize your research experiences, get strong letters of recommendations, evaluate and choose a program, and develop a balanced graduate school application. If you are considering graduate school, be sure to attend to find the best tips to apply to your dream school! The workshop will be led by Shaila Kotadia, Ph.D., biological scientist and Synberc Education and Outreach Manager, and Meltem Erol, UC Berkeley College of Engineering Director of Graduate Outreach and graduate admissions committee member.

Funders Panel

Saturday - November 01
Room 302
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

There is wide range of funding opportunities for iGEM teams and synthetic biologists. Come hear advice from funders around the world and from various types of sources. From federal funding to crowd funding, there are many ways to fund your next iGEM team and beyond as you continue your work in synthetic biology.


Saturday - November 01
Room 306
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Come meet members of the AlumniGEM Committee and learn about the new, exciting programs that will benefit the AlumniGEM community, and continue the iGEM experience long after the iGEM season is over!

Team workshop: Think by Heart

ATOMS Turkiye Saturday - November 01
Room 306
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

70 beats a minute. 100 000 beats a day. This is equivalent to 7000 litres of blood the heart pumps and yet we never hear it say ‘I’m tired’. Or wait! Do we know how to hear the heart in the first place? According to our analysis, the heart speaks in 10 languages. It resembles a mother with its altruism, compassion, patience and the connection it has with the brain is an interesting twist if we are to regard our memorising organ as a male. Having said that, is it the brain who only stores information and controls the acceleration of our heart when we see a loved one? Or is it simply the heart itself, which bizzarely manages to mimic the heart beat of a person standing infront of us? Let’s put all this to a side, today technological devices such as mp3s are being implemented in root to the effects different types of music have on our fascinating pumps. Until now, we have always thought that it’s our brain who perceives by ear. Maybe it’s the time to question this again. Join us to THINK BY HEART! Let’s go on a journey where we discover many of the mesmerising unknowns of our heart from its etymiology to the mother-fetus connection it bestows.
ATOMS Turkiye will be delighted to see you in the audience.

Imagine, Design, and Create with Project Cyborg

Autodesk Saturday - November 01
Room 309
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Project Cyborg is a cloud-native platform aimed to democratize, explore, and connect emerging design spaces across domains and scales from synthetic biology, to DNA origami, to 3D bioprinting and 4D printing.
Please join us in a session to learn, engage, and get inspired!

Outreach Workshop on Bio-Design Automation (OWBDA)

IWBDA / BDAC Saturday - November 01
Room 312
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

We’re excited to announce a new outreach program designed to bring bio-design automation (BDA) to the next generation of synthetic biologists! Sponsored by the Bio-Design Automation Consortium, this outreach workshop aims to introduce the iGEM community to the state of the art work being done in BDA research. This workshop will be a combination of short lightning round talks aimed at highlighting recent research being done by various members of the BDA community and hands-on demos of current software tools currently in development in the BDA space.

Cultured Products Showcase

Ginkgo Bioworks Saturday - November 01
Room 311
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Join Ginkgo Bioworks and other leading companies for an exciting presentation of never before seen (or smelled) cultured products. Perfumers, craft brewers, and fashion designers are working with industry bioengineers to explore the creative potential of molecules and materials produced by living cells grown in culture. At this showcase, you’ll hear from artists creating biofabricated fashion, scientists uncovering the design principles of fermented foods, iGEM alums who designed yeast that smells like roses, and many more.

Safeguarding Science

FBI Sunday - November 02
Veterans Memorial Auditorium
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

The Safeguarding Science suite hosted by the FBI will be a place to discuss safety, security, and more throughout the Jamboree. Visit the FBI, a proud sponsor of iGEM, and their colleagues from around the world to learn more about important topics in iGEM and synthetic biology. Then come listen to their plenary session talk on Sunday night at 4:00 in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium

Swag Swap

Friday and Sunday
Hall C
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Come share your iGEM swag with fellow iGEMers. Trade t-shirts, pins, and more. Remember, stickers are not allowed at the Hynes Convention Center!
• Session 1 Friday 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
• Session 2 Sunday 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Art & Design Exhibition

Friday through Monday
Hall D

What is design in synthetic biology? Over the past ten years, thousands of students from dozens of countries have imagined a future where biology is the ultimate design medium, with applications in medicine, energy, and the environment built from open-source, standardized parts. The growth and success of iGEM has centered on the power of this vision of biological design. The exhibition of design and art projects including work by teams from the first ever dedicated Art & Design track and from those competing for the new iGEM Art & Design Prize explore new ways of thinking about designing living things.

Game room

Friday through Monday
Room 301

Have you developed an iGEM game and want to share it with the iGEM community? Join us in some friendly competition as we host a ‘Game Room’ for you to showcase your creativity and bring a fun and playful atmosphere to your project. Meet us in room 301 anytime from October 31 to November 03. Tables, seating, and outlets will be available.

Social Event, Community Dinner

Friday - October 31
Hall A and B
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Join the whole iGEM community for our first ever Jamboree banquet dinner. Celebrate iGEM and get to know new friends over dinner.

Social Event, Night on the Town

Saturday - November 01
5:30 pm

Explore Boston’s restaurants and nightlife during our “Night on the Town.” See a list of area restaurants at the end of this section.

Social Event, Halloween Social

Sunday - November 02
Hall D
8:00 pm - 1:00 am

This year we have a full social evening scheduled. First, a concert featuring local Boston bands, followed by a DJ dance party lasting into the morning hours. Costumes encouraged! Remember to bring ID for 21+ cash bar (US drivers license or passport).

Team Banner Showcase

The banners will be displayed all over the Hynes Convention Center for iGEMers and attendees to see. More information can be found here: Team Banner showcase

Sponsor Suites

You can find the following sponsors in the second floor of the Hynes Convention Center

• Safeguarding Science
• Synberc
• iGEM Startup Showcase

Room 203
Room 202
Room 201
Room 204