Saving the Baltimore Inner Harbor
Is E. coli the answer?
The Baltimore Under Ground Science Space (BUGSS), a DIY community lab space, is where we spent most of our time working on this project. Dr. Tom Burkett, founder of BUGSS, provided us with the space and lab equipment, and many of the materials, reagents, and enzymes needed for our work in the lab were provided by BUGSS.
Project support and advice
Our project was designed by our team. We had a brainstorm session on August 6th with the help of Dr. Laun, Dr. Scheifele, Dr. Burkett, and Dr. Adil Zuber. During this time, we found a research paper by Yoshida et al., documenting the plastic eating I.sakaiensis bacteria. We found the genetic code for the plastic degrading genes that we utilized in this paper.
Fundraising help and advice
The VWR foundation and the Family League of Baltimore provided us with grants, and BUGSS covered the rest of the cost.
Dr. Laun and Dr. Scheifele supervised our wetlab work, which we started on August 6th. They provided us with the procedures we needed, taught us basic lab skills, and answered any questions we had along the way. They were also the ones we went to when we needed advice on difficult techniques, and they helped us by taking pictures of gels and plating cells when our experiments ran really long. Ryan Hammond helped us by preparing plates and taking plates out of the incubator for us.
Project advisor support
A while before the Jamboree, we presented our work to all of the members at BUGSSat an open house event. They listened to what we had and gave us useful advice on how to make our presentation better.
While our team designed all of the content for the Wiki, Jason Coleman, the founder of Sparkypants Studios, helped us create the website structure and add everything that we had written into the website.
We put together our poster and oral presentation and had feedback from members of BUGSS and mentors in Johns Hopkins' Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens program who advised us on public speaking.
Human Practices support
Port Discovery and Open Works invited us to participate in outreach programs to educate and interact with the public. We discussed ethical concerns with our advisors at BUGSS.
Thanks and acknowledgements for all other people involved in helping make a successful iGEM team
Dr.Tom Burkett, founder of BUGSS, provided us with the space and lab equipment, and many of the materials, reagents, and enzymes needed for our work in the lab. The expert advice and mentorship we received through BUGSS, along with the time given up by Dr.Laun and Dr.Scheifele on various days in the summer until the time of the jamboree, allowed us to focus on our goal and complete our iGEM research project. Their support was a catalyst for us to work harder within the lab.
The Baltimore BioCrew thanks our sponsors for their generous support of our team that made our project and travel to the Jamboree possible.