The last two weeks were very exciting for the diagnost-x team! On our mission of tackling the tapeworm, 3 major new events can be reported.

Success in the lab - lyophilization and rehydration

We have set a new tremendous milestone on our road to develop an easy and cheap diagnostic test! Not only that we managed to freeze-dry the cell free expression system on a membrane, but on top of that we managed to induce a color change reaction on this membrane after rehydrating the lyophilized reagents and adding the trigger RNA solution!

Why is this step so important for us?

We aim to make our diagnostic-test storable. Only if the test can be stored for longer periods without a freezer nearby, it can be used in the field. This way, the test remains functional for long periods of time even at high temperatures, as long as it is kept dry. By lyophilizing our diagnostic tool - consisting of the cell free expression system, toehold switch and a color dye - we are able to preserve our test. Additionally, we could further show that the preservation does not interfere with the triggered color change reaction.

Left: control; Right: color change after adding the trigger RNA

Workshop with our consulting partner: The Boston Consulting Group

On a not so sunny Sunday morning - in the impressive BCG office - we set out to bring our communication skills to perfection!

Our BCG Project Leader Dr. Matthias Gehder took a great effort on improving our agility and trained us in how to convince people and possible sponsors from our project. How do we define a clear goal? What are the needs of our future partners? How can we meet these needs? And how should we prepare and build up a convincing strategy? In 4 exciting hours we learned how to track down a problem and to dismantle it into straight facts.

Beyond advancing our skills, we all had a lot of fun - Thank you Matthias!

German and European iGEM MeetUps

Two important MeetUps took place - one in Dresden with all the iGEM teams from Germany and the other one in Delft together with the European teams.

Of course, the diagnost-x team wasn’t missing! Therefore, we got the chance to present our project and got a lot of new input. Meeting many young and interesting scientists from all over Germany and Europe was a great opportunity for us! It was extremely exciting to grasp the projects of other teams, to connect with them and to exchange our experiences. On top of that we could build up the base for potential collaborations!

A big thank you goes out to the teams from Dresden and Delft for hosting us!