MSU iGEM hosted a meetup where teams could come collaborate, interact and bond. University of Michigan, Alma College, Carroll High School, Ohio State University, and Rose-Hulman Insititute of Technology attended. We played games at the beginning allowing student bonding. We then presented our projects. It was interesting to hear all the amazing things that other teams were doing. We also were able to ask questions and give constructive input. It was helpful to be able to hear other ideas that could be incorporated into our project. The group then split into teams and toured MSU through a scavenger hunt.
UT Austin Burden Assay
MSU iGEM worked with the UT Austin iGEM team to help them run an assay that would establish the burden of parts transformed into bacteria. They asked us to transform certain plasmids into their burden monitor strain that had GFP in the chromosome and run these transformants on a plate reader for 12 hours. The plate reader would measure the GFP and the OD of the cultures. Depending on the burden of the plasmid the cells would not fluoresce as much if the burden was high because more energy would be devoted to the insert than would be to chromosomal replication. After we ran some of their monitor strains to standardize the test and show reproducibility of their assay we ran 20 interesting parts from the iGEM 2017 parts kit to measure their burden. This is a very valuable test to run because in synthetic biology we can make bacteria do things for us, but the changes we make affect how well the cell can work. Seeing the results of this also tell us when the cell gets rid of or mutates the things that we put into them, which is something very important to consider when designing parts to be used for a longer period.
iGEM Team Düsseldorf Postcards
MSU iGEM participated with the Düsseldorf iGEM Team in their postcard exchange, where iGEM teams from other regions would submit a postcard of their team and receive postcards from other teams as well.