Some questions we asked ourselves were:
What is your chassis organism?
For our first year in the iGEM competition we stuck to cloning in E. coli. Future USNA teams may use the WM3064 strain to perform conjugation in more environmentally relevant chassis.
- Biocathode MCL (mixture of micro-organisms)
Do you plan to experiment with any other organisms, besides your chassis?
How will your project work?
Describe the goal of your project: what is your engineered organism supposed to do?
The idea behind our project is to create a working two part system that can: 1)detect the presence of conotoxins through the change in cell potential, and 2). to counter act this effect, (but first by designing it to illuminate before). This will be accomplished through the use of the ArcA and ArcB system, which is commonly used for respiratory regulation in many different organisms.
How would your project be used in the real world?
The primary purpose of our project is to protect the American Warfighter from biological harm on the battlefield, but also preventing the use of conotoxins as biological weapons of mass destruction.
What risks does your project pose at the laboratory stage? What actions are you taking to reduce those risks?
We use a few chemicals such as Ethidium Bromide which is extremely toxic, as well as some non-harmful strains of organisms, which can all pose some threat to people if not used/handled properly. Also, there are some risks with using potentially harmful lab equipment and tools, such as glassware, hot plates, and open flames, which can all potentially harm us.
To minimize risk from our project we would include safety level 1 procedures: wearing gloves, sterilizing waste, being cautious of harmful chemicals and bio-hazards, and the use of lab coats as well as goggles.