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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 the tightly regulated Hyperspank_oid promoter BBa_K302003.

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 the 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 arginine to form urea and ornithine. The overall increase in urea leads to an increase in urease production 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 form 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 Levan Glue BoBrick part produces Levan glue in the presence of sucrose. The glue will act as a binding agent for the filamentous cells and the calcium carbonate crystals 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: Filamentous cells and Urease/calcium carbonate.

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: photographs of cells trying to fill up the crack, calcium carbonate crystals and Levan glue covering the cells.

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