Team:Cambridge/Blog/Week 8



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Week 8 : 15th of August to 21st of August


The programming side-project appears to be coming on quite quickly, now having the ability to search the Parts' Registry, mercifully sparing the user a visit to the notoriously-un-user-friendly Registry website itself. For those unfamiliar, the Parts' Registry is an online database of open- source genes and genetic circuits that owes a substantial proportion of its 19,000+ entries to students working on iGEM projects over the past 9 years.


If all goes well, the team ought to actually purify reflectin by the end of the week, with the hope of producing an iridescent film on Monday.


For reasons that none of the team can quite put their finger upon, our experiments are increasingly successful (and much-so) despite our following the same experimental protocols every time. One is told that this is a recognised phenomenon among experimentalists, equally-mysterious to all, and described as 'the knack'.


The long hard slog for protein purification begins. Overnight cultures of induced cells are lysed, and the inclusion bodies (presumably) containing his-tagged reflectin are solubilised. Hopefully, we'll be able to purify these tomorrow.


After yet another hard day's work, we believe we have 0.6mg of purified reflectin in solution. Unfortunately, this rather small amount is proving hard to precipitate - ironic considering its notorious insolubility problems.


The team have a rather civilised evening with a dinner-party.


Let it never be said that students have it easy. A number of the team actually make it in to the lab today to prepare our protein for film-making tomorrow.