The QGEM team started out with the goal of learning and gaining experience in lab research, engineering and biology. After brainstorming we chose our project's goal, to modify C. elegans to chemotax towards various pollutants for the purpose of bioremediation. Building upon the idea of bioremediation, we decided upon our side projects and began our research.
Overall, we have learned and experienced what it was like to conduct our own research and lab work. Our research achievements are outlined below. Of equal importance, we had a great summer, made new friends and memories which we will carry with us in our future careers.
We have successfully engineered and characterized two chemotaxis constructs for our worm. These made our transgenic worms attracted to the chemicals: phenol,.....
With regards to our side projects, we have successfully engineered a fluorescence construct for our reporter system. Secondly, for our degredation side project, we have added the nahD enzyme from the naphthalene degredation pathway of P. putida to the biobrick registry for use in C. elegans and other organisms. Lastly, for our kill switch side project, we have researched two possible genetic hinderances that can be engineered into our worm to prevents its propagation in the environment.
We have submitted a total of 18 parts to the parts registry as can be found on our parts page. Three of which have been fully characterized, including two chemotaxis constructs, a fluorescence construct. One of our parts was submitted as an improvement to the fluorescence part submitted by our previous year's team.
Additionally, we have designed a novel assembly method to be submitted for a request for comments (RFC).
At the Americas' regional iGEM competition, we have achieved a gold medal and entry to the finals at MIT.