Team:Newcastle/Meetings/24 February 2010


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Formal Meeting - 24 February 2010

  • Start time: 3.10-5.35 pm
  • Room 922
  • Attendance
    • Present: Da (Computer), Harsh, Jannetta, Rachel (Chair), Younus (Minutes), Zoltan, Richard, Steven, Anil, Jen, Matt
    • Apologies: Alan, Phil


  • iGEM 2010 Team Newcastle Registered
  • Final Date for Jamboree 5-8th Nov?

Shortlist so far

Project ideas – team members assigned to look into this projects TOP FIVE

[1] Computing DNA - Rachel, Zoltan, Steven
[2] Microcracks in Concrete - Harsh, Da, Alan
[3] BactoNatto, Teeth, Coating spores/BS - Rachel, Younus, Jannetta
[4] Headlice - Richard, Janetta,Phil
[5] Linearising DNA - Richard, Phil, Zoltan

Possible other projects

[A] Diabetes - Da, Younus and Harsh
[B] French Flag - Steven and Zoltan
[C] Putting BS into us?/BS against disease or diseased water? - Richard


[D] MAZef kill switch

Decision of project

  • Ideal situation: All decide on one project on Friday – Present idea on Wed
  • Likely situation: Choose top 3 projects – Present on Wed 3rd - formal meeting
  • If can’t decide on which project – put it to the vote (like last year!)


  • About 5 minutes, 3-4 slides.
  • Work in assigned groups of three
  • demonstrate project is viable/explain how it works + problems/issues
  • Start looking at a lower level i.e. which genes involved
  • Start looking at modelling languages, SPML, environments?
  • Use Google Scholar
  • Major Weakness of many previous iGEM teams – Modelling is tagged onto Lab work. We should perform modelling-informed lab work


For the Summary table for AW & JH:

  • Different Individuals holidays should by included
    • For personal and practical issues
    • To get a picture of when everyone is available
  • List of all tasks with hard deadlines highlighted
  • T-Shirts/Poster – not a single point
  • Misc?
  • Team Roster – Finalise who is coming to the Jamboree – twice?

Action Points

  1. All members to apply for membership for iGEM 2010 Team Newcastle
  2. AW & JW to e-mail Jannetta and Phil about Timeline summary
  3. Visas/Passports – Check whether visas required/If passports in date.
    • Zoltan and Harsh –
    • British Passport -> don’t need visa but need to fill in online form
    • JH, AW and M… already have visas from last years
  4. Complete Data mining
  5. Purchase/try Natto!!!!!

Other businesses

  • Harsh’s cheaper/quicker flight to Boston option - Booking has to go through University still. Would be helpful to identify flights


[1] Computing DNA
  • Kill switch
  • Modifying bacteria so that as they evolve they move closer or further away from answering a problem
  • Bacteria survive if close to answer [1?], die if further away from answer [0?]
  • Hamiltonian Pathway
[2] Microcracks in Concrete
  • Spray bacteria into concrete
  • spray nutrients, when nutrients run out – forms a polymer/biofilm
  • fills cracks by producing e.g. polymer, protein, CaCO3 etc.
  • Difficulty – way of detecting cracks - X-rays
  • Great wall of China – used rice – still there!
  • Worlds strongest Glue – Camylobacter cresentus
  • Spider silk – contracts as it dries – could be like reinforced concrete
  • Spores germinate when cracks get bigger – start to grow again!
  • Applications: Cracks in space shuttles, shoes
  • Advantage over normal glue? BS can get to cracks, where normal glue cannot!
  • Well-known problem – microcracks will develop into bigger cracks
  • Chemical engineer would be required
[3] BactoNatto, Teeth, Coating spores/BS
  • S. mutans binding to ... in teeth -> decay teeth
  • displace this organism with BS
  • 90 day protection?
  • Spoon of this - mix into anything?
  • MIT 2007 -> didnt manage to transform lactobacillus with specific plasmid
  • Would have to use a computer stimulation of teeth
  • Chocolate/vanilla/banana flavoured Natto!
  • Miracal cure
  • with Fluorides, Omega, Vitamins [D], Minerals etc.
[4] Headlice
  • Male stomach discs?
  • Female symbiotic relationship with bacteria
  • How to introduce BS?
  • Lice v hard to get rid of
  • Bacillus Stringensis?
[5] Linearising DNA
  • bacteria with linear chromosomes/plasmids - Agrobacteria?
  • Streptomyces ... also has linear DNA
  • problem of replication - as it is normally bidirectional
  • Richard's two papers
  • Flipase/RecA?
[B] French Flag
  • spatial and temporal organisation-self organisation
  • bacteria grow in a certain pattern without external stimuli - they decide on the basis of local stimuli
  • Game of life and Rock, Paper Sissors game by Southampton 2009
  • See also Osaka 2009