Team:St Andrews


St Andrews from East Sands

University of St Andrews iGEM 2010


The Saints

University of St Andrews iGEM 2010

Our first year at iGEM!

University of St Andrews 2010 iGEM Team

Welcome to the the University of St Andrews iGEM 2010 Team Website. We are the first University of St Andrews iGEM Team. Our work is mainly based on Quorum Sensing and trying to investigate possible applications in Synthetic Biology.

Comprised of 9 undergraduate students and guided by 5 advisors, our team stems from a variety of different scientific fields: Medicine, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics. Cholera is a bacterial disease that infects approximately 5 million people worldwide each year, approximately 100,000 of which are fatal. Symptoms of an acute cholera infection including diarrhoea and severe dehydration that can kill within hours if left untreated.
Provision of safe water is critical to preventing cholera outbreaks however in many cases this is not feasible, particularly in areas recently hit by natural disaster. Our project involves investigating the basic science behind a potential means of preventing the disease through the application of synthetic biology. Lately Cholera outbreaks occurred in Pakistan and Haiti. In Haiti around 3500 confirmed causes have been reported news in spanish and news in english. Read more about our project.
We would like to thank our sponsors : multiple faculties of the University of St Andrews, biotech companies, etc., whose generosity has made this all possible.
Part of our project is also to help other iGEM teams (both current and future) by fine-tunning the control over protein expression by designing new ribosome binding sites. We collaborated in iGEM 2010 with multiple teams in multiple contexts (wiki development (Delft team), human practices data collection, exhange of DNA (Sheffield team)...).
In order to complete our project several biobricks must be constructed. Through use of standard protocols and procedures we plan to construct a bistable switch based on the Lux quorum sensing system and a CAI-1 sender using the cqsa gene from Vibrio cholerae. Follow our progress in the laboratory.
Human Practices shapes the future and the very being of all science. Human Practices includes (but is not limited to) the purpose, effects and impact of science on society. A realm where ethics, economics and E.coli all intertwine. To better understand the inner workings of the Vibrio cholera quorum sensing system we produced a series of computational models to simulate the operation of Vibrio cholerae. Based upon differential equations and solved computationally via the Fourth Order Runge-Kutta method our models provide a comprehensive view of Vibrio cholerae quorum sensing and bi-stable switching behaviour. To find out how we designed our models from the blackboard to the CPU check out our modelling . This work is potentially a flexible framework for future quorum sensing modelling. Possible future extensions can be other diffusion models for quorum sensing, other quorum sensing systems, etc. Different models are proposed as an example. We proposed a new solution for the fine-tuning the translation of proteins designing Ribosome Binding Site by the usage of an RBS calculator. Check out more about this RBS.