After our visit to the Carp Hatchery & Training Center, Sher Abad, we gained some really useful insight about what our intended consumer wants added to the final product so that his needs are served efficiently.
From the data collected, the government officials highlighted a couple of things:
Our hardware design team collaborated with research officers from the Directorate of Fisheries and designed a special cage for our fish that will inhibit vertical gene transfer, keeping the other fishes in the vicinity safe and eliminate chances of the fish escaping into open water.
The cage has been designed keeping in mind a lot of different variables and factors. The main aim was to keep it floating, so that it does not settle at the bottom. For this, multiple options were explored, but in the end, we settled on using HDPE pipes for top and bottom. HDPE has lower density than water, and so it will float. The bottom pipes will have holes for water to enter and will also be filled with metal wires so that it is heavier, and does not come up to the surface. The cage walls have been made with fine mesh (0.6 – 5.0 mm) and covered with nylon to prevent the movement of genetic material in and out of the cage.
To solve our real time alert problem and to minimize the human effort, our hardware team designed MAX. MAX (Metal Alert Xystem) is an Arduino-based bacterial-human interface which enables your bacteria to ‘talk’ to you via text message, alerting you in real time even if you are on the other side of the globe. MAX can be trained to detect a variety of signals and can be adapted for animals as well. We intend to apply MAX detect the expression of chromoprotein and will send a text message to the owner, alerting him in real time about the status of heavy metal contamination at the user's fish farm.
Let’s say, there is an update during the night, when the owner or the responsible people will never go and get updates, which can cause a lot of losses to the owner. Now with MAX present, the added task of going to the site and checking for any contaminants is skipped. The alert will come to you. For the first time ever in iGEM, we now have bacteria who are texting the human scientist!