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Here come the Teenage Gene Poets

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.
Read more about our Project here

  1. dusjagr on Tuesday 22, 2009

    What a beautiful project! I am happy you could still join the IGEM…. abviously they are about to close it to amateurs, although i do not think that the work is not done at great scrutiny and safety precautions…

  2. Mac Cowell on Tuesday 22, 2009

    I am looking forward to experiencing your artwork at the Jamboree, or at least hearing the experience described first hand. I do believe that with positive engagement like yours there will definitely be a place for amateur teams next year at iGEM.


  3. […] Genie is out of the bottle. Whether it be the outlaw biology conference or our very own Teenage Gene Poets and BioPunks, there is no turning tide back on open source […]

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