- Our team was set in February and we have been working since then. This is our first year in iGEM, and we are very happy to be involved in this organization. The first idea of iGEM team was suggested by undergraduate students, and then supported by our professors and graduate students in METU. There is no ongoing projects in the area of Synthetic Biology in Turkey, and our first aim was to raise the awareness on this area and pioneer the first undergraduate project in our departmnet.
- We are a team founded and motivated by undergraduates and we do not have any instructors working in the area of sythetic biology nearby or an experienced team leader that could lead us, so we are trying to educate ourselves.
- We tried to incorporate people from different departments in our university, however because the programs in enginering disciplines and biological sciences are so diverse, it was very difficult to join forces. Still, we tried to get help from other related disciplines as much as possible.
- As this will be our first experience to develop a project on our own with all its finacial and organizational aspects and as we are training ourselves in this new area that we haven't been taught before, we decided to take this first year to learn how things are done and to gain experience. All the team members were to be involved in other projects in different institutions for summer practice as required by our undergraduate curriculum and we had been doing individual projects in Harvard Medical School, MIT and Hacettepe University during the summer. As a result we planned to start as early as possible leaving less work for the summer.
- We had many project ideas at the beginning and we tried to narrow them down. We worked especially on three project ideas, but we faced with many unpredictable problems. We thought that we will be able to raise enough funding, and we did, but it took a very long time. We signed contract with Symbiocomm before summer, but due to the long and complex procedures for money transfer, opening an account etc., we got the money in the middle of September. We are grateful to Symbiocomm for their patience and help. Our other supporter TUBITAK decided on the projects to be funded for 2007 towards the end of September as a part of their of schedule, so we could get the money only in October.
- Because our timeline was not aligning with that of the competition, there remained a very limited time for the wetlab experiments. In fact we were still dedicated to do the experiments, however the componies did not have the necessary enzymes, kits and chemicals in their stocks; and it takes about one and a half months for them to get those, so we were left with no chances. Therefore, for this first year we decided to concentrate on the theoretical work for the possible projects and also on learning the organizational manners like starting a team, funding, prepare a whoe money and time planning, ordering lab equipments and materials, using wiki, learning about desingning parts and the Registry.
- Althought we did not perform the experiments, we learnt and practiced the lab procedures used in sythetic biology and bought the necessary lab materials. So we are ready to prepare a whole project for the coming year.