You might remember that a while ago we told you about a great project called Yale iGEM that was using Mendeley to make it easier for the research team to collaborate on their synthetic biology project. 6 months later, they sent us an update on how things are going:
By Edward Kong
Yale iGEM is a team of undergraduates who research synthetic biology and participate in the annual iGEM (international genetically engineered machines) competition.
Synthetic biology is an emerging field that focuses on not only the study of natural biological systems, but the design of new systems. From glow-in-the-dark bacteria to fuel-producing cyanobacteria, synthetic biology has a wide range of applications that can be used to better our world.
This year, our team engineered a common bacteria to produce polylactic acid (PLA), a biopolymer that is cheaper, cleaner to make, and biodegradable. Our project won a silver medal at the iGEM North American Regional Jamboree and advanced to the World Competition at MIT. Although our team did not place in any of the prize categories, we had a fantastic year, and hope to use the judging feedback to develop an even stronger project in 2014.
Our team found Mendeley’s combination of e-mail, cloud drive, and reference management to be highly useful. In addition, because some members of our team pursue summer opportunities around the world, Mendeley’s collaborative workspace was critical in enabling our teammates to connect and move the project forward.
We have recently added a talented cohort of new members for 2014, and hope to continue using Mendeley as we formulate a new project. We are grateful for the support and look forward to posting the outcomes of our new research!