We travelled to Boston, USA, for the Jamboree and are happy to share that we got a well-deserved Silver medal. We had an amazing time seeing what everyone else was up to for their projects and will not forget this experience anytime soon. We'd like to thank our sponsors and our lovely team back at UEA for all the support and guidance they've shared with us throughout this project
Register and attend
Our whole team officially registered for attendance at the Giant Jamboree on the 31/08/2016. We’re all looking forward to showcasing our project in Boston!
Safety forms were submitted throughout the season. Team wiki including attribution page completed for the October 19th Wiki Freeze. BioBricks, documented on our parts list here, were added to the iGEM registry. DNA samples of these parts were submitted before the 21st October. The judging form was submitted on the 12th of October. We have prepared a poster and a 20 minute student presentation of our project work this summer for the Giant Jamboree.
This was achieved by making an attribution page on the wiki defining each students main roles within the team, as well as crediting our advisers at the university, our collaborators and thanking our sponsors.
Part / Contribution
The part submitted parts can be found here BBa_K1957005. All parts are available for viewing here and on the iGEM Parts Registry.
Validated Part / Validated Contribution
Our BioBricks were designed for simultaneous whole cluster assembly into the expression vector of the users choice. The single step golden gate assembly strategy allows for easier heterologous protein expression. Evidence of our hydrogenase subunit parts working as designed, to assemble this expression cluster, can be seen here and on parts pages for all individual biobricks, BBa_K1957001, BBa_K1957002, BBa_K1957003 and BBa_K1957004. Links to the registry pages are avalible through here.
Our team has collaborated with various other iGEM teams in the UK. With University College Cork (UCC iGEM), we worked together to produce a guide video on how to run a children’s science engagement activity using bacteria.
We provided Imperial university with growth data for Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. This data, unavailable to Imperial otherwise, helped in the development of their co-culture software.
In exchange for the use of Kent's Atomic Force Microscope, for imaging Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 adhesion to our electrode material, we modelled some proteins structures for them. For more information click here.
We also took part in the UK iGEM meet up hosted by Westminster University iGEM. Here we and many other teams presented our experiences so far and discussed each other’s projects.
Hethel Engineering: We approached Hethel Innovation to discuss our project to gauge where a project like ours could fit within the industry. We also wanted to show people working in industry the potential role synthetic biology could have within the renewable energy industry, as well as trying to build lasting links between industry and the researchers here at UEA and the NRP. To read more about our meeting click here.
SCVA Summer School: We were approached by supervisors of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts' Summer School about a painting with bacteria activity for children aged 8-12. The activities would link to their overarching theme of ‘exploring the invisible’. We took this opportunity to introduce them to the concept of synthetic biology and how it can be combined with bacteria to do amazing things. To read more about our Summer School click here.
Integrated Human Practices
Comic: While organising the Summer School activity we came across some difficulties in communicating the concept of using bacteria to address issues like renewable energy. Especially trying to explain how molecular biology works, and the solutions it has the potential to provide. We decided to make a comic to explain this to young people in an engaging way. This was displayed to the public during UEA's Open Day and at the Norwich Science Festival. This comic allows us to communicate to younger audiences that bacteria can be a force for good when used properly. To read our comic click here.
VR: We came across problems conveying the science behind our project at a molecular level to the general public, for example during our meeting with Hethel Innovation. We struggled trying to communicate the molecular approach of our project, and what exactly our project is doing on the sub-cellular level. We decided to use Virtual Reality (VR) with science to communicate molecular biology by showing the viewer first hand what's happening inside the cell. This was a challenge but it succeeded and we created an innovative learning tool to engage the public and professionals with our project. To read more about our molecular VR experience click here. To learn about the public events at which this was displayed please click the links for the UEA Open Day and the Norwich Science Festival. The response has been overwhelming and we are really proud of what we managed to achieve.
Demonstrate your work
To simulate the electrical input that would come from a renewable source of energy a battery was used to pass a set current through our electrochemical cell. Electrons from this battery were fed into our transformed Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 strain containing our hydrogenase overexpression construct. The decrease in current in our strain overexpressing the enzymes indicates more of the electricity is being converted to hydrogen by the hydrogenase enzymes. For more information please click here.