21 December 2017 | Category: Education

iGEM Jamboree in Massachussets!

By Natalia Giner Laguarda

I am originally from Spain, Valencia. I'm a 23 years old Spa...

November the 7th, we were finally taking our flight to Massachussets. Boston was waiting for us and we were carrying a huge poster all around the world to compite in the MIT.

A week before I was wondering which was the reason I joined Igem. The wikiFreeze is probably one of the most stressfull weeks from the entire competition. However, as soon as we arrived to our two floors AirBnB, everything changed. The competition was awesome and if I was asked now whether I would like to repeat the igem, I would say yes. I was presenting the poster most of the time.


Luckilly I had Jurre by my side to make it way more fun than it was.


Even thought it was a really intense week, the excitement of telling each team about our project would have never been better.


The day of the Jamboree arrived. It seemed we were in one of those American programs. I was sitting by the side of Sabine and after a fun summer and a lot of work we did not only won the gold medal but three amazing prices!! Also we were nominated for Best Model, Best Applied Design, Best Human Practices and Best Presentation!! But, the best prize I got, was 9 incredible and unique friends which were with me for a year.



Best Wiki Award

One of the most hard parts of the project was designing the Wiki Page. For that we had to create our own webpage were we included all our results from the thesis of the 10 of us. The igem project is divided in ten subprojects which become the Master thesis of each component of the group. In my case, I was working on the increase of the signal to noise ratio of the output signal of Mantis. I was creating a Robust Mantis for those cases in which low antigen concentrations are present in a blood sample.

The Wikis is the main project information resource for future iGEM students and teams, as well as the rest of the world. We won this award which means that has become the model Wiki page, which shows what the following year’s Wikis should strive for.


Safety and Security Commendation

Biosafety is a hot topic nowadays in Biotechnology. Igem aims to rise concern on the assessment of any risks associated with all scientific projects. For that, we had to interact with institutional biosafety committees and meet all regulatory requirements. We won the best safety and security applied project.


iGEMer’s Prize

And this one was for sure our favourite prize!

The teams participating in iGEM also have a say in which project have they found more impacting. During the jamboree, all the students visit the posters and presentations of other teams and during the last day, each team vote for their favorite team and it seems our printed device and our poster worked pretty well. I have to say that we even made stress balls and had a real live Mantis with us. We were for sure, “The green Wageningen team”.

However, the Jamboree was finished by the 14th of November and it was awesome but nothing compared with what came the weeks after. Curious to know about the “After Igem” ? Keep updated for the next post ?

By Natalia Giner Laguarda

I am originally from Spain, Valencia. I'm a 23 years old Spanish girl who is in love with sports and the sun. I love travelling and running wherever I am. You will find me for sure in Sport Centre de Bongerd as is probably my second house (both the gym and the bar).

I did my biotechnology Bachelor in Valencia and even though I liked it very much, I was still CURIOUS about how far it could go. Hence, I decided to give a shot in The Netherlands and I came three years ago to do my erasmus. Then I came again for my Master's (Biotechnology & Molecular Life Science). Synthetic Biology is by far my favorite field in Biotech, and exploring as much as possible in this field is my goal here.

I would love to share my experiences as an international student to whoever is interested and of course I would be more than happy to solve all your questions :)

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