ArtScienceBangalore 2009-Synthetic Biology for Artists and Designers
We consider ourselves amateurs/novices within the context of the IGEM competition. Our endeavor as “outsiders” is to bring our training in the arts and design to synthetic biology. Over this summer, we learnt the tools and techniques of synthetic biology and developed a piece of life which reflects our concerns, namely, the cultural, ethical and aesthetic implications of Synthetic Biology. Using a DIY approach and getting our hands “wet” was a critical element in the learning process. This approach allowed us to engage in constructive discussions with scientists working in the field. Our construct synthesizes Geosmin, an enzyme normally produced by cyanobacteria and actinobacteria. The biosynthesis of geosmin from farnesyl diphosphate is catalyzed by a single enzyme germacradienol/germacrene D synthase. E. coli, does not bear a gene that codes for germacradienol/germacrene D synthase. We have expressed this gene in different strains of E. coli, under control of the pTrc promoter present in the pTrc99a vector. Geosmin is responsible for producing the earthy smell that occurs in the air when rain falls after a dry spell of weather.
Major Outcomes -
- Facilitate a group of children to design their 'perfect creature' through visual/tactile media and then draw from these experiences and ideas to build another structure.
- Basic information on micro biology-synthetic biology becomes accessible in the forms of brochures/charts/posters in the team's work space.
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It is helpful to have an idea of how the other teams are progressing. So, if anyone comes across interesting iGEM team wikis/sites - please put up the links here.
The IBB Pune Team's wiki