20.020 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Biological Engineering Design


PDP2: iGEM Review Questions

PDP1 | PDP2 | PDP3 | PDP4 | PDP5 | PDP6 | PDP7 | PDP8

  1. To solidify the biology and engineering that’s associated with the two projects we studied today, please look at the documentation of their projects (iGEM Heidelberg 2008 and iGEM MIT 2006) and answer the following questions:

    • The Heidelberg team built two chimeric receptors to drive chemotaxis in response to AI-2. What successes did they realize? What
      experiment didn’t work? What will they try next?
    • The lambda phage built by the Heidelberg team had both a selectable drug marker (CamR) and an origin to enable the phage to transfer via the F pilus (oriT). However the phage wasn’t able to lyse either the predator strain it resided in, or the prey strains it infected. Why (you’ll have 2 different answers here)?
    • We didn’t spend a great deal of time in class discussing the Colicin experiments that the Heidelburg team worked out. In your own words, please describe this component of their work: what was their “prey”? what was their “killer”? How did they expect this system to work? Did they build and test this?
    • Do you believe, as this team does, that “science communication” is the basis for the formation of public opinion and acceptance of new technologies? Give an example of an effective and an ineffective approach to scientific communication.
    • The MIT team made some “on the fly” adjustments to their project based on early data collected. For instance they decided to control the banana smell for expression in stationary phase since the smell overwhelmed the wintergreen. Could they have used a computer simulation of their system to make this decision? Why or why not?
  2. You should revise your letter based on any feedback you received from your classmates today.

Time to complete this letter revision and answer these questions: 1 hour max.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
Tutorial Videos
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples