Team:BioToga NY


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BioToga "unofficial" wiki


Team BioToga_NY

Team BioToga is excited to be part iGEM! This is our first year entering the competition, so we expect to learn a TON!

We are made up of Juniors and Seniors at Saratoga Springs High School, in Saratog Springs, NY. Team members are students in either in AP Biology, Biotechnology, or both classes.

BioToga is led by two mentors: Kurt Borchardt, a Biotechnology and Digital Electronis teacher at Saratoga Springs High School. We also have the invaluable help of Dr. Kelly Sheppard, Assistant Chemistry Professor at Skidmore College.

Project - Lead (Pb) Biosensor

Our initial hope was to design a biobrick "Multimeter." This multimeter was to combine various biobricks into one design. We wanted to develop a biobrick that could test for the presence of water contaminants such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic. Each contaminant was to express a different fluorescent protein, such as BFP, GFP, RFP, and OFP. Our goal was to develop a multimeter that could test for 3 contaminants, with a stretch goal to test 4 contaminants.

Our background research led to projects that have attempted making heavy metal biosensors. We found that University of Seoul did a similar "multimeter" project [1], but as best we can tell this project wasn't done using biobricks. We also found that Brown University tried making a lead biosensor [2], but as best as we could tell, they didn't have success.

We ultimately decided to focus exclusively on developing a lead biosensor. Working with the plasmid pMOL30 found in Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34, we will isolate the lead operon genes, perform site-directed mutagenesis, and biobrick the appropriate lead operon genes in hopes of making a working lead biosensor.



Our research was documented via a google doc. We did this so we could easliy share and update the entire BioToga team. See the following link to see view our research: BioToga Research Google Doc

Notebook and Unofficial Wiki

Being a first year team, we spent a bunch of time researching our project, and a bunch of time getting better at wetlab practices (i.e. not making mistakes). Our focus has been on the wetlab over the last few weeks, and as such, we really don't have much for THIS wiki page. We developed our own wiki page - we hope to have our "unofficial" wiki page prepared before the jamboree. To see our unofficial wiki page click here: BioToga Unofficial Wiki

Lab Notebook - all of our lab work is being updated daily on the following google doc: BioToga iGEM Journal


Equipment supplier: We really appreciate Hudson Valley Community College's support in using their Biotech equipment! See this link for information about their program Also, a special thanks to Best Buy Saratoga for the discounted fridge. Our bacterial and chemicals enjoy "chillin" out in the Frigidare!

Chemical suppliers: Many thanks to iGEM and New England Biolabs for providing many of the chemicals required for the wetlab. Also, thanks to DNAi for the discount on the primers!


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