Team:Newcastle/Meetings/10 February 2010


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Formal meeting 10 February 2010

  • Start time: 3.30 p.m.
  • Attendance: Philip, Rachel, Zoltan, Harsh, Younus, Alan, Steven, Da, Jannetta, Richard, Neil, Jen and Matt
  • Agenda


  • Everything up to the lab work is now on dotProject, except for DNA synthesis
  • T-shirts and visas were brought forward by 3 months
  • Everyone should familiarise themselves with it between now and next week's meeting
  • Not added yet: iGEM deadlines, internal deadline for biobricks and the glass award decision

Summary of last informal meeting

Jannetta's idea
  • Bacteria binding to beans, taking nitrogen up from the air.
  • Need more research, need a reason to think we can do this better than nature.
  • Working with plants will be difficult, they take too long to grow so it would be hard to test.
Da's idea
  • Diabetes treatment.
  • Could the bacteria detect the insulin/blood sugar levels themselves?
  • Could test in tissue culture
  • Need to look at ethical issues
  • Look at the abstract of the relevant paper in the next meeting
Steven's idea
  • "Evolving non-evolvability"
  • Recent issue of Nature is relevant
  • Zoltan mentioned a relevant paper
  • Richard: apply the same idea to protein? Check that protein still has the desired shape
  • A single base change in a protein can have a big effect on protein shape
  • Could use transition state analogue to see if enzyme is still binding correctly?
  • Foundation advance award?

More ideas

  • Heavy water idea is infeasible because it is too difficult to detect biologically.
  • Create DNA inside bacteria itself, would require a lot of proteins. Recombination of plasmids.
  • Instead of activating DNA, activate RNA instead?
  • Not many teams have looked at working with RNA, so novel.
  • Look up Christina Smolke's research on RNA synthetic biology
  • Foundation advance award again.

Modelling tutorial

  • Will be finished next week.
  • Computational modelling is useful when a system becomes too complex for a biologist to keep track of in their head.
  • The computer running the model will be able to give you precise numbers, and to tell you what happens over time.
  • Qualitative model: No numbers.
  • Quantitative model: Qualitative model + numbers.
  • We are talking about the lac operon.
  • Species: lacZ-CDS (coding sequence), plac - lac operon promoter, lacI-CDS, LacI-Lactose, LacI-prot, LacIdimer, Lactose - sugar, lacOperator-LacIdimer, LacZ-prot, RNApol, RNApol-plac, lacOperator, lacZ-mRNA.

Any other business

  • The formal meeting time can't be brought earlier. What can we do about this? Skype?

Action points

  • Need one wiki page with our phone numbers
  • Need a standing agenda
  • Need a higher-level overview of the timeline for Jen and Neil: just a list of tasks, with final dates, rather than a day-by-day detailed timeline.
  • To go on the timeline: Book flights, book accommodation, poster printing, starting lab, finishing lab, people's holidays, exam periods.
  • Data mining for Friday.
  • End date for new ideas this Friday.
  • Shortlisting next Wednesday. Make a page with all the projects, everyone give a rating: feasibility, novelty, wow factor, etc.
  • "Homework": draw lines between species that you think interact.