Team:WPI Worcester/HP/Gold

Integrated Human Practices
The main goal of our integrated human practices approach this year was to take into consideration the ethics and safety concerns of our project. Throughout the design process, the team interviewed several professors, researchers and graduate students in the fields of RNA therapeutics and CRISPR technology in order to understand their concerns about the team's design. From these conversations, three main concerns arose: the permanence of current gene editing systems, the need for tunability, and public opinion of gene therapy. Each concern was then incorporated into the design of the project. The system was designed to target mRNA to address the permanency aspect of the system. The system was made tunable by incorporating a tetracycline transactivator element that can be controlled by the use of doxycycline. Finally, the team decided that the best approach to ensuring public acceptance of the system was through efficient public education about biological concepts. Through in depth research, the team was able to develop and execute many activities to educate the community about current and future biological ideas.

For more information see our Integrated Human Practices page here.

Improve a Previous Part or Project
Our team improved the characterization of the BioBrick Part BBa_K1321005 with a simple Arsenic Amount Test Kit. We then photographed the test strips and analyzed the images to quantitatively provide characterization. See the part we helped to document here. The measurement details can be found on the Measurement page. The experiment was performed by growing dh5alpha cells that contained the biobrick plasmids of the parts. Liquid cultures were then grown from these cells overnight. They were then back diluted to an optical density of 0.1 with sodium arsenic. These cultures were grown for four hours then were tested with the provided Arsenic Amount Test Kit. Images of the test strips were then taken and the coloration between the test strips and the test kit to determine efficiency of the BBa_K1321004 part. These tests were repeated three times to confirm the result.