Revision as of 17:52, 27 October 2010 by Jannetta (Talk | contribs)

iGEM Homepage Newcastle University BacillaFilla Homepage Image Map



Team Photos

Teamnewcastlephoto1.jpg Teamnewcastlephoto2.jpg Newcastle iGEM Teampic.jpeg

Random Photos

Newcastle funny1.jpg Newcastle funny3.jpg Newcastle funny5.jpg Newcastle funny4.jpg Newcastle funny2.jpg Newcastle funny6.jpg Newcastle funny7.jpg Newcastle funny8.jpg Newcastle funny9.jpg

Hoppings Photos

Newcastle iGEM funfair.jpeg Newcastle iGEM funfair2.jpeg Newcastle iGEM funfair3.jpeg


Aims and Medals




Poster Requirements

UK iGEM Get Together

Newcastle ukget.jpg


The Programme for UK Gathering at Newcastle

UK get together


Our Presentation for the UK Gathering at Newcastle

Questions asked about our presentation:

  1. Would this project require us to change the strength of the filamentous cells in relation to different types of concrete?
  2. What is the strength of filamentous cells? How do filamentous cells actually help to fill up the cracks?
  3. How can repairing microcracks in concrete help to prevent a building collapsing in an earthquake?

For answers to these questions see Deena's concrete lecture


Synthetic Biology: Background

Synthetic biology is a new research field that has a big potential in coming up with solutions for our everyday problems. However, ethical issues have been raised since the start of development in this field. Here we will discuss the ethical issues that our project will bring.


In this field, there are always people that view synthetic biology's negative aspects with concern, like worrying about the production of pathogens to be used as weapons. Their fears are that people will hack into systems to obtain data that might be used to do this. Therefore, we have to be very careful with the products of our research so that they remain safe in our hands.

Playing God!!!

In synthetic biology, we control the lives of bacteria. We insert proteins into bacteria to make them do what we want them to do. We make them kill themselves at the end of their job because they might be released into the environment and be harmful to other living things. It shows that we do not really treat the single-celled organism as life. However, we are coming up with a novel solution for the environment by healing concrete cracks.


Bacteria might be harmful to the environment and living things around. Considering the fact that they are such small organisms and could not be spotted with the naked-eye if they are released in air, we make them kill themselves with the ‘kill switch’ biobrick. This can be very inconsiderate standing in a bacteria’s point of view, but it is the novel thing to do to avoid them hurting other living organisms.

Construction: Background

Cracks form in concrete structures as soon as they set. These cracks continue to grow in size if they are not repaired due to the weight of the structure, imposed load, freeze-thaw effect and wind loading. The bigger the cracks are, the higher the rate of water seeping into the steel reinforcements, causing them to corrode and thus weakening the structure. Therefore, we would like to use Bacilla Filla to fill up these cracks before things get worse.

Environmental Disaster

Concrete is a very widely used material in construction. In fact, cement that is used to make concrete is the second most widely used substance in the world after water. Some building structures have to be demolished because the cracks formed appear to be threatening the strength of the structures. These buildings have to be rebuilt in order to reinforce its tensile strength. This is an unsustainable method of recovery because cement is a material that requires a lot of energy to be produced. In the production of cement, the rotating kiln requires the temperature to be between 1350°C-1400°C, which not only uses up a lot of energy resources, but also produces a lot of carbon dioxide. These carbon dioxide contributes to the green house effect which then leads to global warming. Therefore, our project can help to reduce renovation of buildings which in turn lowers the amount of cement that has to be produced each year.

Post-Chernobyl Disaster

The nuclear power plant combustion that occurred in Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 has allowed radioactive elements to be released into the environment, threatening the health of people living within close proximity of the plant. Therefore, a shelter, the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) which will be completed in 2012 is currently being built to cover up the area that where the accident occurred so as to make it environmentally friendly. However, if cracks were to form, something that inevitably occurs for building structures, those radioactive elements will still be dispersed into the environment. With the help of our project, those cracks will be able to be filled-up and the area will be safe again.

Attribution and Contribution

Attribution and Contribution

Newcastle University logo.png    Newcastle cbcb logo.pngNewcastle Biomedicine logo.gif    Team Newcastle CEG logo.gif
Newcastle iww logo.jpg  UNIPV Pavia Logo.gif  Newcastle BBSRC.gif    Newcastle Genevision logo.png Newcastle WelcomeTrust.jpg
FaceBook Icon