Team:Newcastle/Meetings/5 March 2010


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Informal Meeting - 5 March 2010

  • Start time: 4 - 5:20 p.m.
  • Room 922
  • Attendance
    • Present: Da (minutes), Harsh, Rachel, Younus, Zoltan, Richard (computer), Steven (chair), Alan, Phil
    • Absent: Janetta (apology accepted)
  • Agenda

Micro-cracks in Concrete

The team decided on the project on the 3rd March 2010. During the meeting, possible problems and tasks required were suggested and discussed.

The previous team has done the BioBrick for the glue. If we were to use glue, we'd have to make it work or to improve it as an ''improvement on an existing biobrick''

Plans and problems

  • Creating micro-cracks
  • Electron microscopy
  • Glue/CaCO3/spider silk
  • Getting into crack: a) micro-injection (i) new buildings external cracks (ii) damp-protecting b) mix with concrete (modify spore coats), existing concrete c) soak up through pores
  • Sporulation, germination and secretion control, also kill switch
  • Contact inhibition (2 bacteria contact, then divide), quorum sensing
  • Surface tension of water needs to be solved due to the small micro-cracks
  • The delivery of nutrients is also a problem
  • Because the bacteria will sporulate in water, we have to make sure that there’s no sporulation during rain before the cracks form (sporulation factors) or during mixing (does this weaken the structure?)
  • What actually causes sporulation and germination need to be researched into
  • Genetics: homologous recombination, plasmid, chromosome
  • Glue secretion – cell lysis
  • Variation in bacterial population
  • Properties of concrete: porosity; air and water, e.g. frost leads to further crack damage and formation
  • Bacteria need to secrete, germinate and sporulate before micro cracks can be used
  • Cracks can be hard to solve due to the brittle property
  • Ultrasound to detect the cracks and whether it has worked

Registration to iGEM 2010

  • Phil hasn't applied.


  • Harsh and Zoltan are in the progress of visa application. Phil, Younus and Rachel haven't completed the online visa exception form.

Action Points

  1. All members: Research about the concrete idea and be familiarise with what are required
  2. All members: Visa exception form
  3. Zoltan, Harsh, Phill: Visa/Passport
  4. Neil and Jen: Search for a civil engineer and a graphics designer
  5. Richard: Scan through the two existing concrete projects to see if anything was missing

Other businesses:

  • It was mentioned, as well as in the previous meeting, that the iGEM Wiki should be used as soon as possible to avoid further merging later on. However, the contents might be available to the public and this issue is to be discussed with Neil and Jen.
  • Logo design for the project can now be considered.

Next Meeting

  • Formal meeting: Wednesday (10/03/2010) at 4pm in CLT 9.22