Team:IBB Pune/brainstorming



We have had many brainstorming sessions within the team and with the instructors in which hundreds of ideas were discussed. We are listing a few interesting ideas below and we are sure that some or the other team will get rid of the theoretical/practical difficulties we faced and will do projects related to these ideas the next year if not this year.

1.Sudoku solver bacteria:This is quite a popular problem and many teams have considered doing this. We chose to solve a 4 x 4 sudoku because it is much simpler than the usual 9 x 9 one. The sudoku solving bacteria are a strain of bacteria, that will have a genetic circuit that allows differentiation into 4 types of phenotypes corresponding to the numbers 1,2,3,4. These phenotypes will include a combination of reporter proteins and signal molecules that will inhibit the differentiation to that specific phenotype. eg. "1" will inhibit the differentiation of naive cells to the 1 phenotype along rows, columns and blocks and so on. There are however many technical challenges. How do we restrict inhibition to a single box / column / row without disturbing other boxes?

2.Singing bacteria: Can sound be used as a stimulus for protein production? It was a long shot actually expecting to find a paper on this and find it, we did! There is a report that bacterial cells enhance the proliferation of neighboring cells under stress conditions by emitting a physical signal (Sound signal). There was also an observation of better growth of these bacteria in the presence of these sound waves emitted synthetically. Basically our idea was that maybe we can use this sound producing property (or rather singing ability) as a reporting device for certain cell conditions. Another thought was that we can grow our bacteria by actually ordering them around! We could produce certain frequencies of sounds to make our bacteria grow whenever we want. An open induction of growth system as and when we want. We could also characterize the regulatory mechanism responsible for detection and response to an audio input and make systems that accept sound as an input and produce PoPs. [1]

3.Self prep bacteria: Self prep bacteria are strains of bacteria that can inducibly express proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes followed by lysis cassette.this will provide us with a lysate without protein and lipid contamination and will yield pure DNA.This plasmid can be used to prepare cloning strains for which plasmid mini-prep will be much easier and fast.

4.Multi product strains:there are many projects in iGEM 2008 about time switches that regulate protein expression.This can be used to produce two products, one primary and one secondary metabolite to economize the fermentation process.