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iGEM Judging Comments

This year our team came up with a highly ambitious project and achieved goals in several different areas.

We successfully modelled, designed, characterised and entered our IPTG-inducible Filamentous cells BioBrick part (BBa_K302012).

We also improved the BioBrick parts Hyperspank (BBa_K143015) and Pspac_oid (BBa_K174004) to make Hyperspank_oid promoter BBa_K302003 rendering it tight regulation.

We also developed An e-Science Approach to Synthetic Biology which focuses on workflows, to synthetic biology. This led to the creation of BBF RFC 66 based upon our work.

We developed Subtilin Immunity BioBrick part which provides cells immunity against the lantibiotic subtilin, which is also a quorum sensing molecule for our cell population. It will help in initiating a population wide response for initiating concrete repair.

Our Urease BioBrick part helps in the increasing urea hydrolysis by increasing arginine and arginase production. Arginase breaks down by arginine to form urea and ornithine. The overall incrase in urea leads to incrase in urease production in the cell which hydrolyses urea into carbonate and ammonium ions which are exported out of the cell. The carbonate ions forms a bond with calcium ions provided in the media and forms calcium carbonate.

Our Swarming BioBrick part would help Bacillus subtilis 168 to swarm on the concrete surface by producing surfactin to reduce surface tension and by initiating flagellum biosynthesis.

Our Levans Glue BoBrick part produces Levans glue in the presence of sucrose. The glue will act as a binding agent for the filamentous cells and the calcium carbonate crystals inside the crack and will also help in filling up the crack thereby preventing corrosion of the steel reinforcements.

Our mazEF Kill switch is a stable toxin-antitoxin system for Bacillus subtilis. It would kill bacteria in the absence of sucrose thereby helping to make our project environmentally friendly.

We also modelled 2 components of our project viz. Filamentous cells and Urase. In total we designed and entered 34 BioBrick parts in the parts registry.

We also took Scanning Electron Microscope photographs and found some interesting results e.g. Photograph of cells trying to fill up the crack, Calcium carbonate crystals and Levans glue covering the cells and the whole crack etc.

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