About This Project
Ask the ScientistsJoin The Discussion
What is the context of this research?
The 2013 University of Washington iGEM team aims to implement a light inducible system that can be used to tune multiple metabolic pathways. What this means is that we will be able to control the behavior of bacteria by shining light on it. We want to Biobrick [link] these genetic parts and demonstrate that they can be used for a variety of purposes. We will do this by creating an application for the Android mobile platform that will shine certain wavelengths of light on our bacteria.
iGEM is also a great learning opportunity for undergraduate students who want to get into research. The learning goals of the iGEM are to enable undergraduate students to get the sense of the systematic engineering of biology and to develop the necessary skills for engineering biology.
What is the significance of this project?
Light is everywhere with low cost. The system we are going to develop can be finely tuned and attached to other devices to achieve interesting biological functions. We think that light inducible gene expression represents a field that could be of great interest to other synthetic biologists, and the iGEM community. We will standardize the light sensors and response regulator, and optimize the reporter system so that they are readily available for all interested teams in the future. We will want to test our application on many Android devices, which we will release free of charge to the community. Our application will be the first downloadable software that directly controls biological behavior.
This iGEM project will let us to do self-directed scientific research during summer quarter so that we can have a full research experience in a good environment. Many of us are new to scientific research and this will be our first time doing synthetic biology. iGEM is a great way for us to explore our interests and have a fun time doing it too.
What are the goals of the project?
Building and testing biological systems is expensive because of the high cost of molecular biology reagents, but fortunately we have secured funding for the wet lab. However, this funding does not cover the cost of buying the mobile hardware that we want to test our system with. iGEM isn’t just the science either, we also do educational outreach and travel to the regional and world jamborees. In past years, these outreach and travel expenses had to come out of student pockets. Your contribution will help us pay for the hardware and reduce travel costs to attend the iGEM competition.
In past years, these outreach and travel expenses had to come out of student pockets. Your contribution will help us pay for the hardware and reduce travel costs to attend the iGEM competition.
Meet the Team
Team BioThe University of Washington team has been successful in the past, taking home the grand prize in 2011 for our work on diesel fuel producing E. coli and engineering proteins that can break down gluten.
Ph.D. Program in Systems Synthetic and Physical Biology at Rice University. Visit davidzong.com for more information!
Additional InformationWhat is iGEM?
The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is a worldwide synthetic biology competition for undergraduate students. Student teams from around the world are charged with the task of creating biological systems with novel functionality. Though it is up to the individual teams to figure out how they want to accomplish this goal, all teams must submit biological parts that will be stored in the Parts Registry. A biological part is a sequence of DNA that when combined with other parts create interesting function. For example, past iGEM teams had created parts that enable E. coli to smell like bananas, generate pigments of various colors and remove harmful contaminants from the environment. The winner of iGEM is the team that made the best biological system and parts.
The University of Washington team has been successful in the past, taking home the grand prize in 2011 for our work on diesel fuel producing E. coli and engineering proteins that can break down gluten.
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