Team:British Columbia/Medal


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British Columbia -

Bronze Medal Requirements

Registered the team, had a great summer, and plan to have fun at the Regional Jamboree.
Successfully completed and submitted the iGEM 2012 Judging form.
Created and shared a Description of the team's project using the iGEM wiki.
Plan to present a Poster and Talk at the iGEM Jamboree.
Submitted DNA for and entered information detailing 15 new standard BioBrick Parts in the Registry of Standard Biological Parts.

Silver Medal Requirements

Demonstrated that 14 new BioBrick Parts of our own design and construction works as expected and entered this information on the part's 'Main Page' section of the Registry
Part Number(s): BBa_K804000, BBa_K804001, BBa_K804002, BBa_K804003, BBa_K804004, BBa_K804005, BBa_K804006, BBa_K804007, BBa_K804008, BBa_K804009, BBa_K804010, BBa_K804011, BBa_K804012, BBa_K804013

Gold Medal Requirements

Criteria 1: Improve an existing BioBrick Part or Device and enter this information back on the Experience Page of the Registry.

We standardized ECFP and EYFP fluorescent protein BioBricks by putting them under the same constitutive promoters and plasmid. Thereby, we have improved the fluorescent markers by making them into three more usable parts that can be used as a new tool kit for future iGEM teams.
Part Number(s): BBa_K804000, BBa_K804001

Criteria 2: Help another iGEM team by, for example, characterizing a part, debugging a construct, or modeling or simulating their system.

We helped the University of Calgary team troubleshoot the rhamnose promoter that they were having trouble with and proved that it was not functional through careful experiments. Our two teams also distributed the work of making BioBricks of the DSZ genes. Read more about our collaboration on our attributions page.

Criteria 3: Outline and detail a new approach to an issue of Human Practice in synthetic biology as it relates to your project, such as safety, security, ethics, or ownership, sharing, and innovation.

Through a survey of over 380 iGEM community members, we identified intellectual property as an issue that impacts the work of the majority of the iGEM community. To address this, we engaged with patent agents and IP experts to create an iGEM-specific patent guide to act as a primer that can be used to help iGEMers navigate intellectual property issues.

Eligibility for Special Prizes

Best Human Practice Advance:

IP survey and guide: We designed and administered an intellectual property survey to gather high impact data from more than 300 members of the iGEM community. The information was useful to other iGEMers, such as Team INSA Lyon who cited the majority of our data for their human practices. Our team also engaged people outside of the iGEM community, such as a patent agent, the University of British Columbia University-Industry Liaison Office and other technical experts. The end result, with use of feedback from experts and other iGEM teams, was an intellectual property guide geared specifically towards the iGEM community.

Assessing the industrial relevance of our research: We went to the Chevron refinery in Burnaby, British Columbia and talked to an industry professional about the processes and costs pertinent to our project. We also communicated with Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF) and Oil Sands Leadership Initiative (OSLI) to discuss the progress of our project and obtain some industrial insights.

Best Model:

Consortia Model: To model the population dynamics of our engineered consortia, we used a lot primary wet lab data to improve the accuracy. Our model improves on the two-organism consortia model found in literature by simulating the significantly more complex synthetic three-organism community, which has not yet been done to our knowledge. Furthermore, our model was designed to be easily adaptable to predict any limiting-substrate interdependent consortia population dynamics in general.

Pathway Model: Our distributed pathway model streamlines and informs future consortia project planning. Our model explained experimental observations found in literature of synergistic pathways in consortia and demonstrated that distributed metabolisms, like the one we are engineering, occur in nature. This model helps investigators probe for possible new metabolisms derived from combining different organisms with different metabolic capacities.

Best Foundational Advance:

BioBrick standard biological parts are DNA sequences of defined structure and function designed to be incorporated into living cells to construct new biological systems. Synthetic biologists have been building BioRooms by engineering single microbes that contain purposeful compositions of BioBricks to perform tasks such as bio-sensing, bio-degradation, bio-transformation or bio-synthesis. However, most of these BioRooms are designed to be self-containing, self-sufficient systems in stark contrast to how microbes normally exist in community in natural environments.

The UBC iGEM 2012 team sets a foundational advance by engineering microbial BioRooms that are compatible with each other and can be regulated based on their interdependencies. In the future, it may be possible to mix and match BioRooms to create BioFactories with novel synergistic metabolisms.

Inter-Team Collaborations

Calgary submitted and characterized DszA and B, and UBC submitted and characterized DszC and D of the same operon. More details on our attributions page.
TU Munich:
Our team members participated in TU Munich's survey on the improvement of part descriptions.

INSA Lyon:
INSA Lyon cited our Intellectual Property survey results and provided feedback on our patent guide.