Team:Cambridge/Diary/Week 1


Revision as of 00:11, 26 September 2012 by BostjanP (Talk | contribs)

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14



After first meetings and introductions, a brief presentation on the philosophy and principles of the iGEM competition was given by the two Jims. Biobricks, and their associated web based resources (such as the registry of standard parts) were introduced to the team. Additionally, the goals that we as a team should be working towards were presented, with an emphasis upon human practices and how they could be used to create a better project from the outset.

After lunch, the 2011 iGEM team gave a presentation on their project (the production of the protein reflectin in a bacterial system), as well as their own perspectives on the competition. We then undertook a team building exercise (in both senses of the word), constructing a raised platform upon which magnetic blocks were stacked. As in all things, the Pope won. a


We had another presentation in the morning, this time on some of the wierd biology that Jim H. has seen. Antifreeze, Carboxysomes, brick making bacteria - the basic ideas for many different projects were explained. Unfortunately, we can't really do them all...

The stores remaining from last year were collected from their storage facility. Lots and lots of pipette tips - will no doubt be very welcome. Most of the rest of the morning was organisational, setting up the lab and checking what equipment we had.

The afternoon was a series of safety talks. Now we can get on with some real biology!


Gibson assembly (the technique that we will be most heavily relying upon for the construction of our plasmids) was introduced today, when we swapped an RFP gene from a plasmid backbone for a superfolder GFP gene. The protocols for PCR, Gibson assembly, Gel electrophoresis, DNA extraction from the gel and e.coli transformation can be found on their respective pages. The transforming bacteria were left overnight.

We also properly began brainstorming today. Summaries of some of our (mostly abandoned ideas) can be found here (Can people begin filling out their brainstorming ideas in the discussion section of the project section - Oli)

More administrative stuff as well. We were introduced to Dik in stores and Del in accounts - will be invaluable contacts in the coming weeks. People began to sort themselves out into designated roles as well. See our final team structure here (Link to team page when it's a bit more complete - Oli)


Mostly brainstorming today, with a little bit of bacterial plating and culture growing to shake things up. Currently, internal bacterial logic seems to be of greatest interest to the team, with the inputs and outputs being comparatively minor. This will probably have to change so we can create a cohesive project, but if a novel approach to bacterial logic is of most interest to the team, it is something promising to work with.

Once more, the format was discussion and research, with The Column acting as our open forum. See what The Column had to say by the end of the week here.


Fluorescence and its use in the imaging of bacterial colonies was demonstrated in the colonies that had grown over night.

Once more brainstorming was probably our most important component of the day, with each of us presenting short powerpoints based upon the work of previous teams. Emphasis was placed on trying to work out what parts of each project had been successful, and what the components of successful projects had been. Additionally, aspects that we felt could be expanded upon in the future were the focus of an entire slide! (Out of a maximum of three, so clearly considered to be of high importance).

The teams presented:

  • Alberta 2011
  • Peking 2011
  • Calgary 2008
  • Harvard 2008
  • John Hopkins 2010
  • Slovenia 2010
  • Wisconsin - Madison 2010


Paul and Andreas met up with Haydn from the 2011 team to discuss about the design and running of the wiki. They have decided to use the 2011 template as the starting point to creating our own template.