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Synthetic/Post-Natural Ecologies (iGEM 2010)

January 20, 2010 - Classes, Exhibition, Synthetic Biology

Synthetic/Post-Natural Ecologies investigates the consequences of a synthetic ecology, an ecology in which organisms created in a techno-scientific environment interact with organisms in the wild. C. elegans live on a diet of a variety of bacteria. E.coli being one of them.

Genetically modified E.coli can be fed to C.elegans which can then express any double stranded RNA of interest. The dsRNA can knock off specific genes which causes changes in C.elegans.Our experiments have a range of an external factors in two sets, temperature and IPTG. C.elegans, then will act as a marker to express a range of temperatures and concentrations of IPTG in a any given sample.On a utilitarian level, our project investigates the use of C.elegans as a visual marker for changes in environmental conditions and on a more critical level, we are using C.elegans to study the consequences of interactions between engineered organisms and the ‘natural’ world.

The goal was to create biobricks that enable indirect engineering of C.elegans behavior mediated by the E.coli.

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