Team:Consort Alberta/project


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Our Project

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Our Project

   Introduction      The Science


Comparison  Final Result  Prototyping





     For this season our team is working on expanding and perfecting our project. Our goal is to create a biobrick and a working prototype that will detect levels of xylene, which is linked directly to carcinogens found in petroleum products such as benzene and its derivatives. Our biobrick will create different amounts of fluorescent protein in the presence of xylene bound to xylR. The economy in our rural community is based largely on agriculture and oil and gas industries. Oil spills have detrimental effects on the environment, economy, and general health. This year we will be testing out two different indicators to allow options concerning scale and intensity of colour change. In future years our project will allow early identification of contamination will facilitate rapid clean-up and minimize health risks to members of our community and to the consumers who rely on the food we produce.


The Science...

     In order to create a visual representation of our output, we turned to mathematical modelling. Using constants and values from online research (see references) we created five equations to represent the action of our Biobrick producing the protein xylR, binding with xylene and relationship to the output of our respective proteins. The following graph shows the estimated overall output of our biobrick. ***GRAPHHHHHHH

      The first equation represents the translation of RNA into the protein xylR. 200 plasmids * 61.2mPoPS ((1/seconds) – 0.00224?*XRNA     dRNA/dt=

       The second and third equations represent the inactive and active forms of xylR- or the concentration of xylR that has not bonded to xylene and the concentration of xylR that has bonded to xylene.

XylRi and XylRa refer to the concentrations of the inactive and active forms of xylR. KJ23100 is the production rate of the promoter BBa_J23100, rxylr is the oligomerization constant of xylR, 3r,XylR is the dissociation constant of inactive xylR and xyl in the total concentration of xylene. axylRi accounts for degradation and dilution because of cellular volume increase. Xylene represents the concentration of xylene present. t represents time.




Final Result...




PROTOTYPE #1: Our first prototype has a positive pressure creating a current(blue) from the left box and pushing the xylene particles (orange) from the sample in the middle box that holds our E. Coli culture, producing our indicator protein. This was a plausible idea, as it would require fairly non-expensive materials and could be maintained by the average business person. However, we thought it could be more efficient in it's design, and so we kept looking for ideas.


PROTOTYPE #2: In a container, we combine our soil sample and our alginate beads, mix them around, and then sift out the beads. The beads produce our indicator protein from the contamination levels of the soil. This design was inspired by the Peking 2013 Team that used alginate encapsulation beads. Their reasoning and justification for using alginate beads stood out to us, as they stated that it was stable and inexpensive and easy to shape and manipulate. Upon further research into the use of these beads, we discovered that this prototype could be more efficient to use then our first prototype that required a few different pieces to the system. This revised prototype would also be easier for the average oil worker to use compared to the larger prototype.