UiOslo : L A C E L L
UiOslo iGEM 2017 is based in the University of Oslo, and have taken up the challenge to make a yeast-based biological laser, a biolaser.
Our team of biologists and physicists have tried to make this possible by using green fluorescent protein (GFP) as the gain medium. GFP is a protein that absorbs light and emits light with lower energy. The GFP is actively produced by transgenic yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe ). The pinhole of the laser is equipped with a filter that only allows the emitted light to pass, making the output of the apparatus monochromatic.
Why is the biolaser useful?
One of the properties of a biolaser compared to a non-biological one is that the implementation could involve a living, changing gain medium. The amount of fluorescent protein in the cell would change over time as protein is synthesized or broken down, which is something that could be monitored over time. Coupled with a proper setup, this has theorized to be a useful tool for monitoring gene expression in real time. We decided to put these theories to the test, and see if we could discover a practical way to use the properties of a biolaser in a useful manner.
Our project plan is set up with two main goals: making a functional proof-of-concept by testing the lasing potential of a superfolder GFP protein solution, and then taking it a step further by trying to use live yeast cells as the gain medium.