All members of the S&T iGEM team are required to complete the lab training program. The program is broken up into two sections, online and in-lab training workshops. Online modules are designed to test team members knowledge of the iGEM training manual and additional training that will be provided by the team. In-lab training workshops provide hands-on experience to new members and offers experienced members the opportunity to practice passing knowledge down to future team members who will take their place. The final stage of this training program is a “mini-project” where lab trainees complete small tasks assigned to them while under the supervision of senior team members. The goal of this program is to train responsible and productive future lab workers.
Currently, our project utilizes a chassis, Arabidopsis thaliana, and two strains of bacteria Escherichia coli DH5-alpha and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These strains are relatively safe but our team members are still expected to handle them with care.
Our project uses the plant organism Arabidopsis thaliana in secured planters. The planters are kept isolated to prevent modified DNA from contaminating other projects stored in the lab. Team members nurture and observe the plants to ensure that they are in perfect condition for the modified bacteria strains that we are using.