We are in Week 3 of the iGEM project.
Meeting with Academics
A meeting was held at 10:00 AM, where the proposals for the IGEM projects were presented. It was brought to light that the proposals were lacking most notably in the following facets:
- Application Driven
- Specification Driven
- Possibility for demonstration/exhibition of operation (with the Jamboree in mind) - issue of time
It was decided upon that the current proposals required restructuring or ,indeed, new ideas would have to be proposed, with the above aspects in mind. It would also be advantageous if the previous projects could be utilized as a platform, should new projects be undertaken.
Four new ideas where presented, after an afternoon of individual/group brainstorming/research.
"Cell By Date" - Food Technology
A sensor which detects the viability of food. The mechanism of action (sensing/detection) involving one/combination of following:
- detection of pH
- cell growth
- gas liberations
The freshness/viability/lack thereof would be exhibited by way of fluorescence.
All sensory operations would occur within the environment of the fridge, which is maintained at a temperature of about 4 degrees celsius.
A sensor which may detect one of the following aspects in blood:
- Nature of blood group: A, B, AB, O (detection of ABO antigens)
- Nature of Rhesus (Rh) Factor
Requirement of a highly specific detection mechanism (in both cases above)
It is known that biofilms increase microbial resistance 1000-fold - meaning that biofilms are notoriously difficult to disperse. The solution involves a system that can break down biofilms, so that treatment agents can be delivered to the underlying surface. The concept has been investigated quite considerably in recent times; however, the novelty of the project lies in the use of genetically engineered bacteria instead of phages, which would actually invade the biofilm, and produce the relevant degradatory protein DspB, when quorum is obtained.
- Will the bacteria infiltrate the biofilm?
- Will the bacteria survive in the biofilm?
- Can a unique quorum signal be produced?
- Can this idea be extended to the medical industry for example?
- Does DspB break down all of the film?
- How would the DspB be released/delivered?
A remediation device consisting of sensor and control modules:
- Sensor - detection of electrolyte imbalances
- Control/Actuator - returning the depleted electrolytes to the body
TARGET: Present project proposals on Wednesday morning, 25 July 2007?
It was decided that the journal club would be postponed until a concrete project has been selected.