Austin_UTexas

Description: Our team has been pursuing several different research avenues this summer. We are working with a variety of organisms- including microbial communities- in an attempt to engineer a system that may be useful to the world in some way. Currently, we are discovering and attempting to engineer the organisms that make up the SCOBY in Kombucha tea, various cyanobacteria, and other organisms that are more commonly used in the lab. Though this may seem to cover a very broad range, UT’s iGEM team is united under one front- we aim to improve something in the world through genetic engineering. Thus far, each sub-project has accomplished something different, but we are all ultimately experiencing successes and failures. One of our sub-teams is developing a process by which gellan gum (a substitute for agar) can be made at home for novice biochemists, but there have been several issues with the process. Similarly, a sub-team whose goal is to create an organism that can detect GMOs is having to work and rework the system they are using, and they are having to troubleshoot just like many other sub-teams. Additionally, through weeks of trial and error, many teams have become very familiar with non-model organisms that the lab has never before worked with. Furthermore, we are very proud of a partnership that we are developing in the Kombucha industry, as this will be an invaluable resource as we proceed in this area. In the coming weeks, many of our projects will need to adjust and improve our Golden Gate Assembly system because the whole lab has been having problems in that respect. Furthermore, many projects will need to create a process to transform their organisms as these organisms have either not been used in our lab previously or are new isolates from the environment. A few of our sub-teams have shown successful conjugation, though. Finally, it is clear that we will need to consolidate our sub-projects to bring to the iGEM Jamboree. While each of our aims is valuable and interesting, not all will be ready to present and only some will yield results of a quality that we are proud of.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16