October 2, 2011

Off to Boston!

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:26 am by igemkuleuven

After a long, long morning of speeches and presentations we we’re finally relieved of our tensions. We received a Gold Medal. But wait… we also get to go to Boston!

Unfortunately we can’t win all though we did get 2nd place for best presentation AND 3rd place for New Biobrick!

Now it’s time for some celebration!! See you at the next jamboree!


October 1, 2011

Other teams…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:55 am by igemkuleuven

As the second session of presentations started, we splitted up and attended different sessions.

We were really impressed by the team of Denmark since they rethought the whole registry of standard parts… and replaced it by their own system! We also admired the work of ETH Zurich.

Now we are enjoying lunch and discovering the projects of other teams by looking at their posters.

To be continued!

Sadly, when the instructors were taking photos with Tom’s camera, one of his lenses fell on the ground and it doesn’t focus anymore..

Imperial College & Valencia

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:35 am by igemkuleuven

We’re in the environemntal tack of the iGEM competition and immediately after our presentation we could see how our direct competitors did it this summer.

We were really impressed by the tremendous amount of work that Imperial College did: they created a bacteria that can produce auxin. Their list of achievements was amazing!

At the moment Valencia is presenting their project on colicins in water. We’re very eager to find out what’s underneath their construction on the stage: something is standing there covered by a lab coat… Were wondering what they have in store for us!

Update: Valencia surprised us by bringing a lab set-up to test their project!

iGEMwatch @ our presentation

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:18 am by igemkuleuven

During this Jamboree some guys from Denmark, called the iGEMwatch, are providing everybody with their view on the projects and talks. Here’s what they had to say about us:


KU Leuven – E.D. Frosti: Controlling Ice Formation

Filed in 2011 | Europe Regionals | iGEM Leave a comment

Liveblogging from the KU Leuven presentation:


Q & A:

Q: Why did you combine two mechanisms in one organism instead of two?

A: The team wanted to create one organism that could do both things since they felt it was mor ein the spirit of the competition instead of creating two different organisms.


Tom and Alice are presenting their project – E.D. Frosti.

This project has two applications, promoting and inhibiting ice formations. The bacterium either produces ice nucleating proteins or anti-freeze proteins, dependent on the stimulus used. INPs promotes ice formation and AFPs promote ice melting.

The project consists these biobricks:

1. An arabinose induced AFP biobrick, that at the same timre represses INP formation.

2. A lactose induced INP biobrick, which also represses the formation of AFPs.

Suddenly a question pops up? Has the team created something dangerous? Are we due for another ice age because of ED Frosti?

To prevent that a suicide emchanism has been added to the bacteria:

3. The kill switch is activated by lactose or arabinose, but a ribo lock will prevent the transcription of CeaB the suicide inducing gene. The ribo lock opens up when the bacteria are presented to cold, so only after the desired proteins are produced and the bacteria have been released will they undergo apoptosis. Smart, huh?

Now the focus swings over to the team’s human practices efforts:

The team taught kids about synthetic biology, tried different laboratory procedures with them and asked them how they would use the team’s ice inducing/inhibiting bacteria. This was a great success and the team has been hired to repeat these children workshops in the future.

They also hosted a debate around synthetic biology at their university. The initial step of this was finding a definition of what synthetic biology is, an interesting question. One of their definitions was:

– Design and construction of biological parts, devices and systems.

80% of the people attending the debate thought that some GMOs would be dangerous, which is a huge number. Luckily the next chart shows that the team could change the opinion of at least 67% of the participants about synthetic biology.

The team ran through their achievements so fast that I could not really catch what worked and what did not, sorry!


In a few seconds KU Leuven will open the environmental track (morning session).

E.D. Frosti is out there!

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:09 am by igemkuleuven

Just a moment ago the big presentation of E.D. Frosti to the people gathered in room O0A04 ended!

Tom and Alice did a great job at presenting the whole project! In a very relaxed way, with some jokes, they told people about our achievements.

We got some interesting questions from the judges about the safety mechanisms we’ll have to use if we want to release E.D. Frosti in the real world outside the lab. Luckily this question was raised by Prof. Robben at our debate! All the judges complemented us on the unique way we combined our project with new insights in the field of human practices.

Hopefully we won our judges over and we can take E.D. Frosti overseas!

And now, the big moment is near…

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:21 am by igemkuleuven

In less then an hour now, Alice and Tom will present E.D.Frosti at the regional Jamboree in Amsterdam. Right after the opening of this Jamboree by the big chief Randy Rettburg himself, E.D. Frosti is one of the first projects to be presented to the world!

So everybody fingers crossed at 9:30 am!

September 30, 2011

On the ressurrection of dodo’s and the saviour of polar bears…

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:53 pm by igemkuleuven

As we speak, Katrien is defending the honours of the KULeuven team in the general debate on ethical issues linked to Synthetic Biology. As a panel member she really challenged the politicians present at this ‘Meeting of Young Minds’. The question was raised if Synthetic Biology was allowed to be used to introduce extinct animals back into nature… as a way to ‘make up’ for our past mistakes. As an example they used the dodo, as humans ate all the members of this species. The guy from one of the political parties immediatly replied no. And Katrien immediately posed him the question what if we can save polar bears via the use of our E.D. Frosti bacteria, is he still against synthetic biology then? …

The debate rose some interesting new ideas and opinions on the use of Synthetic Biology. Some politicians clame that the world is not ready for this new developments, but when will we be ready? …

In the meantime on the iGEMwatch & Twitter: The Dodo was said to be very tasteful, especially with southern pepper…

As you can see: lots of food for thought! And a nice continuation of our own debate…

September 29, 2011

First 2011 post

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:04 pm by igemkuleuven

Wauw, here it is, the first post of the 2011 KULeuven iGEM team. Yesterday we had our last exercise presentation in plant science institute. The presenting itself is almost getting professional now. The designers are working hard on a flashy lay-out for the slides. The poster is printed and deserves a special price. One of the many prices our team deserves. Kuch 😉

Today we present for the general public at 19.30 in aula “The Oude Molen”, also an interview with Radio 2 will be given.

Congratulations for everyone working so hard. And remember: The last pieces of lead are heaviest, but the reward will be twice as big afterwards.

November 12, 2009

Essencia coli is all over the news!

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:21 pm by igemkuleuven

The iGEM 2009 jamboree has ended only one week ago but the media attention for Essencia coli is rising to its peak. Several newspapers and radios discovered the existence of this extraordinary bacteria and just had to let the world know.

Some links:

http://parfum.startpagina.nl/gids/ (bron: het laatste nieuws)

This morning, there also was an interview on Radio 2 with Inge Thijs, one of our splendid instructors, at 7.50.
There will also be an interview with Prof. Bart De Moor on Radio 1 between 19u and 20u tonight. 
Somewhere this or the next week an interview will be done for Mens&Molecule.
And last but certainly not least there was an article about our adventure in De Standaard today!

To wrap this blog message up, the team once again would like to thank everyone that made this project possible!
It was an amazing experience for all of us and we had a killer time!

Many thanks,

iGEM K.U. Leuven 2009 team

November 6, 2009

the end is near

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:42 pm by igemkuleuven

start spreading the news, we’re leaving today!

Na 4 zalige dagen in “the city that never sleeps” staan we op het punt terug naar Belgie te vertrekken. Het is een ongelofelijke ervaring geweest. Er waren spannende momenten, stesserende momenten en momenten waar je kaken zeer deden van het lachen! Kortom, het was fantastisch.

Dank je wel iedereen voor de time of our lifes!

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