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The Interlab Study


I read the interlab study as an attempt by iGEM HQ to conduct a comparative analysis of the different methods employed by the varied and diverse teams internationally to arrive at useful data. A key problem in science is ascertaining absolute measurements; there is no point in one measuring the fluorescence of some given part, only to arrive at arbitrary units whose value for other scientists is near zero. Standards must be set, in order to embue our results with any useful meaning. Although its motivations are shrouded in mystery, I percieve the interlab study as the first step towards that ultimate goal of blanket standardisation in a synthetic biological context.

It is suggested that a team conduct the interlab study as a preamble to the main event. However, we are the first example of an iGEM team at Warwick, and coalesced rather late in the day. Hence we decided just to dedicate two members of the team to pursuing it in parallel to our other endeavours, as a sort of side quest.

The Brief

The remit of the interlab study boils down to constructing and characterising, albeit minimally, three devices. They share a lot of similarities, and the objective is obviously not to create some wacky new form of life, but to measure well characterised and well understood parts in order to measure the measuring equipment, as it were. I will quickly describe the nature of these devices.

Interlab Study

'''Section I: Provenance & Release'''

Work was done by Dan Goss and Waqar Yousaf with help from Sian Davies and William Rostain as advisers.

Timeline of when protocols were run and measurements were taken is listed below

  • 05/08/2014 Transformed all parts from kit plates, including an RFP-producing control
  • 06/08/2014 Isolated/inoculated one colony from each and and grew them up overnight
  • 07/08/2014 Miniprepped the overnights to secure sufficient plasmid DNA for digest
  • 08/08/2014 Restriction digested parts and linearised plasmid backbones for assembly