IGEM:Imperial/2010/Diary/Week5

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Monday was Lab Induction day! Kirsten made sure that we were all up to speed on the health and safety rules of the lab, and then we got fitted out with lab coats.

We then started looking at ways of making a fusion protein with C2,3O and a tag, such as glutathione-S-transferase (GST). We had a meeting with Dr James MacDonald, who gave us some useful advice about which terminus of C2,3O to fuse the tag to, and what we should be thinking about in terms of a linker.

On Wednesday morning we had a meeting with our advisors to discuss the assembly strategy and the ways in which we would test each part of our system. We also went over what modelling we had done, and how this was influencing our design.

We visited the RCA on Wednesday afternoon, and were able to see the workshops and a rapid prototyping machine. We then had a really useful discussion with David and Gerrit on Human Practices. It was great to see our project from the perspective of a designer, and this made us think about the social aspects of a parasite detection kit.

There was a meeting with Dr Matthieu Bultelle on Friday to talk about the problems we had been coming across when trying to model the system. The main issue was that our system was recognised not to obey the Michaelis-Menten kinetics. It is because Vmax is proportional to overall enzyme of concentration that is varying in our system. Furthermore, in our system the substrate is not in a great excess over the enzyme. Hence, it was decided to try develop model from the first principle (representing all chemical reactions by equations) using only Law of Mass Action. Problem of finding constants needed for equations was discussed as well, as this has shown to be task of great difficulty.

Harriet attempted millionaire shortbread for Cake Friday, but it went a bit hard… So instead we had profiteroles! Yum. We finished the day with a drink in Eastside with some of the advisors.

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