iGEM TU Delft
News letter June
Nice to meet you!
First row from left to right: Alicia Rodríguez Molina, Fiona Horne, Eline Doornenbal, Willem van Holthe, Gabriela van Leersum, Iris Forkink
Second row from left to right: Javier Navarro Delgado, Maartje Spaans, Nick Bowring, Shikha Sebastian, Ramon van Valderen
Hi! This is the very first edition of the TU Delft iGEM 2020 newsletter. Stay updated on our advances and approaches. Check out our upcoming events and flashbacks of the month!
iGEM in times of COVID-19 
International genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) is the largest international competition in synthetic biology. Students are given the opportunity to come up with innovative, SynBio based solutions to current problems and present these at the giant jamboree in Boston. Unfortunately, this year is different due to COVID-19. This year's iGEM competition will not be held in person, rather, online. Considering the gravity of the pandemic, many teams around the world have not had access to lab facilities. This has lead the iGEM requirements and judging criteria to change, with a focus on dry-lab components as well as Human Practices and Education, to give all teams a fair chance to compete. 
For us, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have lead us to work from home since March. Yet as the current pandemic continues, so does our iGEM experience. Having chosen our project in the beginning of March, we have put all our effort into giving our iGEM year the best shape possible.
Phocus: targeting locusts 
Locust swarms of biblical proportions are threatening food security of communities and cities in East Africa, the Middle East and the South-West region of Asia, devastating thousands of hectares of croplands and pasture. Although this is not an uncommon phenomenon in this area, the current outbreak is the worst in recent decades. Our mission is to tackle the locust crisis by developing a sustainable bio-pesticide through responsible innovation and collaboration.
In our design, we will use engineered bacteriophages to deliver a gene to the locust gut bacteria. This molecule will selectively target locusts.
Wet lab
This month has been dedicated to working out the content of each module of our project, which was then used to fill a detailed Safety Form of our project. We have also been developing the experimental details of the proposed experiments, which were discussed with our supervisors in several meetings. In addition, we are currently doing lab training to learn the techniques that we will need for our future experiments.
Dry lab
At the moment, the dry lab team has been busy with learning to program in Python and how to manage their code using Git. Furthermore, they have been exploring existing mathematical models concerning phage production and single-cell systems. At the same time, they are still brainstorming to come up with new ideas for the modelling.
Cvb: The executive board of TU Delft has not only provided us with a world-class curriculum but also a generous grant to realize our goals.
Bionanoscience Department: The Department of Bionanoscience (BN) focuses on the fundamental understanding of biological processes, from the level of single molecules to the full complexity of living cells. This research provides a fascinating insight into the molecular mechanisms that lead to cellular function. The department features a strongly multidisciplinary and international team of scientists, whose research areas include single-molecule biophysics, synthetic biology, as well as (quantitative) cell biology. BN has provided our team with laboratory space, supplies and an exceptional supervisory team.
SnapGene: SnapGene offers the fastest and easiest way to plan, visualize, and document your molecular biology procedures. Their product has an extremely user friendly UI which makes cloning easy for our team. We can make great visualizations and everyone can view it using the Snapgene viewer for free! We're glad to be partnering with Snapgene again this year.
TU Delft iGEM Phocus
Van der Maasweg 9
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