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The 2010 University of Edinburgh iGEM team applied the concept of building bridges throughout our project in three distinct ways:
  • A structured framework for non-chemical communication between E. coli, codenamed FORTH, pairing light-producing and light-sensing BioBricks such that future projects can be developed for a variety of novel applications.
  • The BRIDGE protocol, a markerless alternative for BioBrick insertion via homologous recombination.
  • Examining synthetic biology as ways of thinking and the permeation of human practices within, bridging the so-called 'divides' between various disciplines and individuals.

"The engineering equivalent of Genetic Engineering is to get a bunch of concrete and steel, throw it into a river, and if you can walk across it, call it a bridge." - Simon Munnery, comedian.

Synthetic biology in general, and iGEM in particular, has long attempted to refine this process of "bridge-building". iGEM participants attempt to pave the way for future endeavours - the possibilities of building bridges instead of simply stumbling across them by chance, of using standardised bricks instead of having to quarry and hew individual stones, and of developing innovative new ways of creating bridges from scratch.

We think about synthetic biology differently now. The question is... how do you think?

The Illuminati were a secret society that existed in Bavaria in the late 18th century. They were known for their aims to encourage enlightenment, education, and the spread of knowledge via such radical ideals as liberty of thought and equality amongst people. Their short-lived movement did not succeed, but many of their tenets are willingly espoused today as fundamental rights of freedom.

The 2010 University of Edinburgh iGEM team has taken up their name in honour of their efforts to bridge the schisms that existed in society at their time. In the same way, we hope that our light may begin to bridge the divides that exist in synthetic biology today: ideas into reality, communication between bacteria, and ways of thinking amongst disciplines and individuals.

Throughout this wiki there are words in bold that indicate a relevance to human practices. It will become obvious that human practices are a part of almost everything in iGEM.