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== <font color=red>Project overview by animation</font> ==
= <font color=red>Project overview by animation</font> =
== <font color=blue>Motivation</font> ==
== <font color=blue>Motivation</font> ==
Our motivation arised from the following emergent needs in the development of synthetic biology:
Our motivation arised from the following emergent needs in the development of synthetic biology:

Revision as of 13:37, 27 October 2010


Project overview by animation


Our motivation arised from the following emergent needs in the development of synthetic biology:

  • Detailed design rules for large-scale genetic circuit design.
  • Comprehensive information of the interactions among genetic parts in vivo.
  • Exploring gene expression mechanisms using traditional methods takes too much time.

The biobrick parts registry is beginning to overflow with parts. However, every team that has used information from parts registry knows how complex it is. Even if we follow the correct arrangement of parts (i.e. regulator-RBS-coding sequence-terminator), some parts just won’t work together in a large circuit design. Current iGEM teams are favor to do a big project which has a complex circuit design. However, these excellent projects almost turn out to be just design withnot much successful experimental results ultimately. So much time is wasted trying to guess blindly at which parts/devices can interact together, and which parts/devices cannot. There are definitely needs of detailed rules for large-scale circuit design and for the future development of synthetic biology.

With this in mind, we are interested in more specific design rules of a genetic circuit. We want to look closely at the central dogma, and more specifically, at the mRNA level.

Previously, we know about the circuits we done are work or none by the expression of reporter genes, but now we want to quantitative description of gene expression in both space and time. Base on the more detail information of gene expression, we can know the interaction between parts in vivo. However, studying the gene expression mechanism by traditional methods takes too much time. To reduce the times of dealing this problem we have come up with our project: SpeedyBac.


For iGEM2010, the NYMU-Taipei team has created a novel assay that can speed up the expression cycle of a gene. Furthermore, the assay also reveals the location and quantity of both mRNA and Proteins. Between the mRNA level and protein level of our gene expression cycle, we have integrated a riboswitch that allows us to stop, start and control the translation of protein. Using this switch, we can study mRNA and protein in one cycle without the interference of one on the other. Lastly, we have built a speedy degradation system that stops the gene expression quickly, and cleanly.


To achieve our goals, our design can split into three parts:

  • Speedy switch
    • Controls and speends up protein translation via a riboswitch between mRNA and protein level of gene expression.
  • Speedy reporter
    • Using mRNA aptamers and split GFP-eIF4A reporter systems to quickly promoter activity.
  • Speedy protein degrader
    • Fast, specific, and constitutive proteolysis achieved by engineering fluorescent proteins with LVA tags.


We are grateful for the kind help of Dr. Chris Proud for providing us with the pGEX-eIF4A of his lab for our experimental use. Dr. Christopher Proud is currently a Professor of Cellular Regulation & Deputy Head of School, Research School of Biological Sciences Life Sciences Building University of Southampton Southampton, UK.