Integrated and Gold(Content)
To achieve the standard of Gold Integration in Human Practices, iGEM teams must show the evolution of their project in the design/test/build cycle. This cycle is foundational in experiment design and a valuable skill that when developed well, can last a lifetime. The evolution of experimental ideas relies heavily on theoretical application, trial and error, logic, and ingenuity. Troubleshooting and streamlining are some of the main components of research and by integrating feedback from others in the field, we learn so much more than just repeating data that has already been characterized. Our team had the opportunity to meet Dr. Sharona Gordon, a professor from the University of Washington who specializes in Computational Neuroscience and has extensively studied the expression of the TRPV1 protein. Dr. Gordon provided many suggestions and ideas that can be implemented in future projects. We discussed how to make cell response times quicker no just by producing proteins and excreting them outside of the cell, but by using innate molecules or mimicking molecules that closely resemble intracellular proteins that don’t have to be produced and bringing them to the plasma membrane. Dr. Gordon and our team also uncovered different types of fluorescent proteins that could be used - some with shorter degradation and activation times. We learned about optical genetics and different proteins we can activate by using different wavelengths of light. All of these are great ideas for our future work in activating protein secretion in a quick response manner, but most valuably, she relayed to us the optimal conditions in which yeast grow. This information was vital in the directioning of our research to prepare for future implication. Dr. Gordon has extensive experience with TRPV1 in yeast, and has learned over the years that the range of calcium a yeast cell with TRPV1 can handle is 0.1nm to 20nm. This is a much smaller range from those typically given in the literature because when the TRPV1 channels open, they will diffuse a much greater amount of calcium down the gradient by being continuously open than by calcium pumps alone. This cut down many potential replicates of research and trial and error, and maximised the time we spent in the lab working on further research, and not testing a massive range of calcium.