Oh, that feverish news when I heard my name was on the list, list of first iGEM team Peshawar that was ever made in Pakistan. An international competition based on the newly emerging field of Synthetic biology, where peppy undergraduates compete teams from all over the world. However, before that, every team learns to build things and does some real science, unlike students that perform experiments in their high schools or universities. I am telling you, the iGem experience is different, totally different! For instance, students spot problems and provide solutions with the engineered micro-organisms using different approaches and implementing it for the welfare of humans, animals, plants and all other things that affect the eco-system.
What’s the highest degree of being excited? I was at that level. I loved each member of my team from the day I saw their names in my E-mail. I knew they would all be crazy in science and hungry to use Syn Bio in their lives (just like me). No doubt about it, when I heard their stories in the introductory session… each one of them dazzlingly inspired me in their own way. I realized in the very first week, that we are a ‘Family’ not just a team as our interaction, corporation and indulgence were quite more to a greater extent.
Despite the toughest schedule, I found myself all perky and zealous every day when I woke up because I was there to learn and discuss science with the coolest humans of Pakistan for my 10 hours stay in IIB, CECOS. Yes, we all belong to different cities and provinces and have somewhat distinct backgrounds in the field of science, that’s actually where our uniqueness comes from and that’s where each one of us becomes special.
My first week with iGEMers was incredible. We had lots of brainstorming sessions, had molecular biology discussions, smashing synthetic biology classes, few presentations and a cool Skype session with a veteran from Mexico. We came up with some more than 50 ideas in the end, some of which were shot down and 10 were left to be pitched in the next week.
I can no more wait for the next week to come. I believe, it will be more exciting and exploring than this one.
Sarah Farooq khan, 22, Mardan