Validated Part/Validated Contribution
Our team successfully developed a set of eGFP reporter proteins that were cloned into biobricks. The reporters were designed to determine if the APOBEC enzyme successfully edited its target. The first is a normal eGFP plasmid with an added 5' untranslated region, which was used as a target site for our CRISPR/dCas9 based editing system. The other eGFP reporter also contained a 5' untranslated region and also had a non-functional ACG start codon. The data gathered was analyzed using fluorescence microscopy and image analysis. The results of this analysis can be found here. We then confirmed our analysis by using flow cytometry as part of a collaboration with the Boston University Team
Our team collaborated with the Boston University Wetlab team in two major ways. First BU helped us validate both our eGFP reporter proteins, which were used as reporters for the APOBEC enzyme, with their flow cytometry machine. The flow cytometry data collected from this collaboration also functioned to validate our microscopy-based analysis system. We, in turn, helped the them using our fluorescent microscope. We analyzed the fluorescence of several of their reporter proteins to confirm their findings. See our collaboration information here.
The main goal of the team's human practices was to make information and education about biological concepts more accessible to the public. After revamping some protocols from the College of William and Mary, a previous iGEM team, the WPI team held a large scale outreach event at WPI's TouchTomorrow. During this event, children and their families were able to learn about the intricacies of DNA, the basics of Mendelian genetics, and the relative size of organisms through fun activities like DNA Extraction from Strawberries. The team then modified these activities for WPI's Women in Science program that they assisted with. Community engagement was not the only approach taken by the team this summer to accomplish their human practices goal. They also effectively utilized social media to make scientific education and knowledge more accessible. By using three different social media platforms the team was able to reach nearly 1,000 people with every post, making biological research and information more available to the public than ever. For more information, please see Our Human Practices page here.