Team:Newcastle/Meetings/26 February 2010


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Informal meeting 26 February 2010

  • Start time: 3.10 - 5.10 pm; Room 922
  • Attendance:
    • Present: Da, Harsh, Jannetta (Computer), Rachel, Younus (Chair), Zoltan (Minutes), Richard (left early), Steven (arrived late), Alan, Phil (arrived late)
    • Apologies: Alan, Phil
  • Agenda


Project ideas – team members assigned to look into this projects

The team had gone through the top five projects in order to shortlist them. Progress with further research had been discussed.

  • [1] Computing DNA - Rachel, Zoltan, Steven

Zoltan had found a few relevant papers and told that even though there are plenty of papers available in the field, realising the final idea and solution will be difficult. Richard also suggested that it would be a difficult project.

  • [2] Microcracks in Concrete - Harsh, Da, Alan

Rachel told that Brussels made a glue before, however it was not used for concrete repair.

  • [3] BactoNatto, Teeth, Coating spores/BS - Rachel, Younus, Jannetta

Jannetta found some extra papers on tooth decay. MIT had a project where they used lactobacillus. More research is needed. Rachel had found the chemical flavouring of chocolate. It has been suggested that the projects mentioned in the title could be merged with the diabetes issue (therefore creating natto that solves many problems). This would allow us to have a selection of sub-projects with more chance of success.

  • [4] Headlice - Richard, Janetta,Phil

Jannetta had not found out anything new since the last meeting.

  • [5] Linearising DNA - Richard, Phil, Zoltan

Richard gave a presentation. (Autonomous linear DNA clock) The team had concluded that the project is promising, however, introducing the linear DNA plasmid can be difficult. The team needs to clarify the difficulty of the project with the advisors.

Possible other projects

  • [A] Diabetes - Da, Younus and Harsh

Harsh had found three relevant papers using Bacillus subtilis. He suggested merging this idea with Bacco Natto.

  • [B] French Flag - Steven and Zoltan

Teams in 2009 (Osaka, Southampton) did something similar. Zoltan realised that it is hard to extract relevant information from the literature. Zoltan is to further investigate, should time allow.

  • [C] Putting BS into us?/BS against disease or diseased water? - Richard

No new development.

The team had decided that it is most likely that the "Bacto Natto" (merged with diabetes), the "Microcracks in Concrete" and the "Linearising DNA" projects.

Shortlisted Projects

The following projects are to be demonstrated to the advisors on Wednesday:

  • [1] Microcracks in Concrete - Younus, Steven, Alan, Zoltan
  • [2] BactoNatto, Teeth, Coating spores/BS, Diabetes - Rachel, Jannetta, Harsh, Da
  • [3] Linearising DNA - Richard, Phil (probably shifting onto Bacco Natto

The team had been divided up into groups (see above), with each group preparing a presentation.

Bacto Natto presentation details: Jannetta focuses on teeth decay, Rachel focuses on natto flavour, Harsh focuses on diabetes (what actually bacillus does, genes, etc), Da focuses on pros and cons and ethics

Concrete: Alan focuses on how to introduce bacillus into concrete, Steven focuses on spider slick/glue, Younus focuses on sporulation (for natto as well), Zoltan focuses on the possible creation of concrete by Bacillus

The Concrete and Bacto Natto team are meeting on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m in the Walton library respectively


  • Rachel updated Phil with regards to the feedback of Neil and Jen. Phil will check his e-mails to see if Neil and Jen had sent him any feedback. Phil is to ask them for clarification, should they not get back to Jannetta or Phil. Jannetta had received no feedback so far.

Data Mining

  • Zoltan reported that he had not started it as information has been uploaded in a scattered manner. Zoltan to update it though.


  • Phil's passport is to be updated. Da filled in the on-line visa exeption form. Everyone should do this. Zoltan and Harsh are to work on getting a visa.

Action Points

  1. All members to apply for membership for iGEM 2010 Team Newcastle
  2. AW & JW to e-mail Jannetta and Phil about Timeline summary
  3. Zoltan, Harsh, Phil: Visa/Passport
  4. All - Visa exeption form
  5. Zoltan - Complete Data mining
  6. All - Research three final projects
  7. Zoltan - Possibly research into "French flag problem" (time permitting)

Other businesses

  • Harsh suggested the usage of a referencing tool called Mendeley. It is available on all mainstream operating systems and usage will be investigated later.

Next meeting

  • Formal Meeting: Next Wednesday, 4 p.m. in CLT 9.22