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From 2010.igem.org

MIT iGEM 2010

the project

In an effort to form self- assembling three-dimensional biomaterials, we are attempting two parallel paths in mammalian differentiation and phage polymerization. (more...)

the parts

The team has made significant progress in characterizing parts from the registry, stringing together new intermediates, and biobricking new parts altogether. (more...)

the team

The MIT 2010 iGEM team is a bunch of eager and motivated undergraduates led by a group of the greatest mentors ever. (more...)


Today, I messed around with mediawiki. I got annoyed because I couldn't get my jquery plugins to work, so I messed with some javascript to force it to bow to my will. Now I have a cool little scrolling page, which I love.

Going further, I may want to:

  • put up, left, right, down arrows for the div
  • fill out wiki
  • change background and color scheme

The MIT iGEM team of 2010 is a colorful group of undergraduates interested in synthetic biology and its greater applications. While we may differ in our home states, music tastes, lab experience, dorms, or even our opinions of pizza, we are all driven to make our summer/fall experience the most fun and intense experience it can be.

This is Andrew. He's pretty much a baller joke. Nah, just messin'. Andrew, better known to the team as Andre, has an intense bromance with another team member, Paul Muir.

This is Arvind. He's our secret weapon!

This is Crystal. She is a rising junior in Course 10 who is interested in nitric oxide!

This is Grant :cough: ...I mean, Abdul. As you can tell, he's a pretty scary guy. Fun fact: Toward the middle of the summer, Grant started literally living in the lab.

This is Jstev. He's a rising senior from... wait for it... the University of Kansas! But we consider him to be an honorary MIT baller. Jstev gets paid more than we do and also has free housing. :( Chances are that Jstev is older than you, and he is known to some as Mr. Potatohead. ...JSTEV!!!

This is Joy. She's Asian!

This is Laura. She works with mammals!

This is Leanna. She is a rising junior in Course 20. She likes gymnastics and NCAA basketball (men's) and has an intense passion for the Situation.

This is Paul. He lived in Switzerland for years, and yes, he's related to John Muir.

This is Shawn. His unorthodox protocols may one day culminate in several BioBrick standards.

This is Shirley. She's a vegan, but apparently wouldn't mind feasting on her fellow humans. She also enjoys the artist Joanna Newsom, implying she has a few screws loose in her head. Most importantly, however, Shirley is *hungry.*


Pics will be added later {This is Adrian R}

Pics will be added later {This is Adrian S}

Pics will be added later {This is Cory}

Pics will be added later {This is Deepak}

Pics will be added later {This is Jeff}

Pics will be added later {This is Julie}

{This is Katie}

Pics will be added later {This is Kevin}

Pics will be added later {This is Matt}

{This is Shawn}


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     Materials technology is a rapidly advancing field with research focusing on new methods of nanomaterial design. The biggest problem with nanomaterials is that the creators (us) are on a completely different length scale when compared to the materials we venture to create. Our project strives to take small steps in the direction of nanomaterials by utilizing cells--both bacterial and mammalian--and phages as units in developing a self-assembling, dynamic biomaterial.
     Our goal is to create a system within cells that can convert a 2D design visible to the human eye into a 3D biostructure of phage or bone with the cross section of that same design. Our cells will be able to sense elements of the macro, human world, and output a living, self-assembled structure. Our mammalian team was motivated by the idea of the cellular “touch pad,” and is utilizing mechano-sensing promoters to allow mammalian cells to sense pressure and produce a controlled mineralization in response. The bacterial team is using the S.O.S. response from UV radiation and quorum sensing as stimuli to have bacteria secrete bacteriophage. Coated with zipper proteins, these bacteriophage can polymerize, cross-link and eventually form a living structure.  Both teams are integrating a toggle switch into the system, allowing us to consistently control the cell’s response to the stimuli.
     By the end of the summer, we want our project to be able to showcase the capability of indirectly controlling the production of an organized biostructure.  With the integration of multiple visible markers, user-directed design will be able to stimulate the production of a multichromatic output on a bacterial lawn, along with a tangible biostructure, and mechanical stimulation of our mammalian cell line will induce controlled differentiation of our cells into bone. We hope to have developed two systems with the ability to form living three-dimensional biomaterials that retain their ability to reform into a different structure if given the correct input.
materials and methods
journal club