Monday, May 30
Memorial Day was an optional day on the job, but the dedicated iGEM team put in an afternoon of work in Bindley. Practice transformations were successful–both GFP and RFP were apparently expressed, and growth on control plates was as expected. Practice minipreps were next on the agenda, which the interns also completed successfully in addition to some supply inventory.
Tuesday, May 31
Lists of supplies needed for various assays were assembled, and an assessment of necessary ordering was made, thus finalizing the functional assays to run for both nanowire and phosphorus genes. Additionally, brainstorming for an Experiment (crowd-funding for scientific research) campaign was completed.
Wednesday, June 1
Background research continued, and some ideas were tossed around concerning the official project theme for this year (more to come on that later). A meeting with Drs. Rickus and Solomon led to recommendations to practice with both the transmission electron microscope (TEM) and the process of electroporation for genome integration to prepare for performing these procedures later. Project write-ups for the Experiment campaign were completed, as was an application for a grant from SYNENERGENE for advanced human practices.
Thursday, June 2
The Experiment online crowdfunding platform was submitted for approval in the morning, and an order for both competent cells and primers was placed. Background research was again the main focus, and most team members concentrated their efforts on learning the ins and outs of both Shewe (Shewanella oneidensis) and tiny moon phosphorus-eaters (Microlunatus phosphovorus).
Friday, June 3
This week’s conclusion was easily one of its most exciting moments, as the team took a field trip to visit Drs. Chi-hua Huang and Ashley Hammac of the USDA National Soil Erosion Research Lab, who generously donated both their time and expertise to answer questions and allow the team to tour the facility. Analytical labs, rain-producing machines for the purpose of studying erosion patterns, bioreactors, and anaerobic growth chambers were among the cutting-edge technologies the team observed. Thank you, Dr. Huang and Dr. Hammac!
Word was received later in the afternoon that the Experiment proposal had been approved; the campaign launches June 9!