Team:Cambridge/Blog/Week 6



Week: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

Week 6 : 1st of August to 7th of August


The BBC are looking for an iGEM team to film as part of a documentary. Thinking it sounds fun, the team start compiling interesting project-things to send them, including (as requested) a short video introducing the team. Being Cambridge, this can of course be no normal video, and all sorts of wacky ideas are mooted - will keep you posted on what we decide upon.

Primers have also been designed, after the major headache of transcribing gene sequences from an image file (by hand) and locating errors. Our account for ordering them has unfortunately not been set up, so another delay on starting the main body of our wetwork is quite a blow.


The plans for the video are made, and it is indeed to be no normal video (but then synthetic biologists have quite a history of such things - see Ginkgo Bioworks' youtube video).

Plans are also being put in place for a kind of altruistic open-source Gibson assembly kit for iGEM teams in places where altogether less money is around for such things. The recent expiration of the mess of patents associated with taq polymerase could well be an aid to our efforts.


With two days before the deadline, filming begins, and consumes all of the day, since we 'corpse' our lines reliably on every take.


The team have been in contact with some friendly guys from the 'Cambridge Nanophotonics Centre' (a place of high boffinry) and plans are afoot to use their machines to make iridescent films, pending expression and purification of reflectin.


It may not have been previously mentioned that our software side-project (PyGen/GINA - a kind of 'LaTex' for the nucleotide code) is being worked on by just one lone engineer, spending all day quietly hacking away in a corner and rarely talking (moving, in typical fashion for coders, only for coffee). The morning brings a demonstration by him of the current state of the program and to our delight much progress has been made. We show the typical (perhaps infuriating) behaviour of non-technocrats when presented with such a thing and suggest (to us) simple possible additions that would in fact take many weeks and a medium-sized team of programmers to make.

The rest of the day is comparatively uneventful - things plod on.