Team:Newcastle/Meetings/17 June 2010


iGEM Homepage Newcastle University BacillaFilla Homepage Image Map


Formal Meeting - 17th June 2010

  • Chair: Phil, Minutes: Steven, Computer: Alan
  • Attendance: Da, Harsh, Rachel, Younus, Janetta, Deena, Neil, Jen, Colin, Jem, Wendy, Matt

Explanation of iGEM and our project to people new to the meetings

  • Phil explained a little about iGEM, Steven a little about the scope of our project. Alan talked us through each brick we have planned.
  • iGEM is about ambitious ideas.

Calcium carbonate brick comments

  • Colin suggested an alternative approach based upon arginine and knocking out ahrC. By controlling regulation increase arginase production.

Spider silk brick comments

  • Idea is that a matrix of spider silk would give the concrete strength.
  • Would be great to have some mechanical modelling to determine the optimal way to do this, for the most strength. There are models which consider orientation of fibres; we could build on these.
  • Voigt's paper on the type III secretion system. Able to produce long strands of silk.
  • George Ordal has done work on Bacillus flagella. Developing the flagella system might be a lot of work.
  • Would the type II system work?

Filamentous cells comments

  • There was an interesting paper from the late 70's which looked at the tensile strength of filaments.
  • Could we make really thick cell walls? Ask Prof. Waldemar Vollmer about this.
  • Do we need spider silk at all?

Glue brick comments

  • Colin: Don't need hsfA, hsfB, hsfC in Bacillus subtilis, they are responsible for taking across the membrane in E. coli. Could be hard to get across the thicker B. subtilis cell wall.
  • Lysis is an alternative.

Design & modelling team summary

  • Phil, Rachel, Janneta and Deena have been designing the filamentous cells biobrick.
  • The plan is that by the end of the week the DNA sequence, cloning strategy and computational model will be prepared.
  • The team considered various approaches and decided upon up-regulating yneA. Will regulate it using LacI to see if it works correctly. Expect to see cells turn filamentous when IPTG added.
  • Have a working model, but cell length is not modelled yet. Need to relate yneA levels to cell length. We could then link this to a graphical model, showing how cell length varies as IPTG levels are altered using a slider. We could put this side-to-side with a real video of filamentous cells.
  • Need to determine how integration into the chromosome will work (homologous recombination). Native yneA already on the chromosome could be disrupted. Screen for disrupted colonies (Colin suggests starch hydrolysis). Native yneA is only active in SOS response.
  • Brick will probably be synthesised.

Lab team summary

  • Alan, Da and Steven have been in the lab, training under Wendy's supervision. Range of backgrounds (Computer Science and Biology).
  • Summary of the first week in the lab given by Wendy, Alan, Da and Steven. Please see the lab book.
  • Next week the design & modelling team will be in the lab doing the same, and maybe more since this week went well.


  • We have a new sponsor, Genevision.
  • We have quotes for flights.
  • We have more funding, thanks to Prof. Jeff Errington.

Action points

  • Everyone who hasn't emailed Jill regarding payment must do so.
  • Put the Wellcome Trust logo on the wiki.
Newcastle University logo.png    Newcastle cbcb logo.pngNewcastle Biomedicine logo.gif    Team Newcastle CEG logo.gif
Newcastle iww logo.jpg  UNIPV Pavia Logo.gif  Newcastle BBSRC.gif    Newcastle Genevision logo.png Newcastle WelcomeTrust.jpg
FaceBook Icon