In nature, some cells have the ability to detect if certain environmental signals such as hormones, drugs, or wavelengths of light are present or absent. These digital signals can then determine the analog expression level of certain genes. Our project aims to replicate this natural process through a dCas9 based system. Our system, Gemini, is able to recognize the presence (represented by a 1) or the absence (represented by a 0) of several environmental signals and change a gene's level of expression based on what combination of signals it is registering. For a more detailed description, start the Project Tour.
In addition to creating Gemini, our team also aimed to go beyond the lab space and contribute to the synthetic biology community in other ways. In addition to volunteering for several outreach programs, we also developed two human practices projects. The first was creating a set of interactive discussion forums meant to make synthetic biology more accessible to the public. The second was a blog intended to inform synthetic biologists about important considerations and implications in patent law and intellectual property. To see a timeline of how we created our forums or explore our blog posts, click the buttons below.
A full list of how we met each medal requirement can be found here:
The 2016 BostonU iGEM team received a Gold Medal as well as nominations for Top
Foundational Advancement Team, Best Basic Part, and Best Part Collection.