Engineering Webinars

On this page you will find information on: Engineering Events Calendar, and Previous Webinars.

This season the Engineering Committee will be hosting online events to connect with teams. Join us for new webinars throughout the season and check out the Previous Webinars at the bottom of this page for useful content as you begin working on your projects.

Engineering Events Calendar

The Engineering Committee will be continuing their Webinar Series this year. Please stay tuned!

Webinars - Curated 2020 Content

The 2020 Measurement Committee hosted a series of weekly webinars to help iGEM teams with your projects! Planned topics include taking your ideas into the lab, designing DNA sequences, DNA part assembly from classical to modern methods, engineering your organism, modeling your project, measuring cellular phenotypes like fluorescence, and how to purify and characterize protein products.

Week 0 - Introduction to the Summer Webinars from the Measurement Committee

June 9: During this first session, we will briefly give an overview on the summer webinar series, describing what we hope to accomplish and what we hope that you will get out of attending. This webinar, and all of the following webinars, will be made available online after the webinar is finished. Additional related content can be found online.

Week 1 - iGEM Summer Webinars: Getting Started

June 16: The first session of the iGEM Measurement committee’s summer webinars opens with an overview of how and where to start your project, as well as what you can plan and design. The second block will be a beginner’s guide on how to utilize databases effectively in conjunction with bioinformatics tools. We will end this session with an overview of the decision making process when choosing a cloning strategy.

Supplementary material:

Week 2A - Modeling: ODEs and Hill Functions

June 23:In this Modeling Webinar (Part I) we will go from ODEs (ordinary differential equations) and the law of mass action to Hill functions, their derivation, and how to use them to model the regulation of gene expression and inducible promoters. Additionally, we will explore Hill functions and explain the effects of parameters on activators, repressors, hybrid promoters, and the corresponding protein expression levels of GFP or any other reporter gene.

Supplementary material:

Week 2B - DNA parts and Basic Molecular Biology

June 23:In this molecular biology webinar, we will cover important concepts including, standard parts and why they are important in synthetic biology, what the iGEM registry is, and what a "part collection" is. Additionally, we will introduce you to core molecular biology techniques, giving you links to videos and protocols. Additionally, we will highlight a few important "part collections", the measurement data affiliated with these collections, and why these measurements as well as the part registry are so important when deciding what DNA parts to use.

Week 3A - Modeling circuits with ODEs and experimental data

June 30:In this modeling webinar (Part II) we will focus on how to use the previously learned concepts to model genetic circuits with ODEs and Hill functions. A circuit that is capable of "sense-compute-act" is used as an example. Then, we will learn how to relate this model with experimental data from this genetic circuit. Finally, we will focus on a more complex circuit, the Incoherent feed-forward motif to compare the results obtained from the model and its experimental measurements, enriching this way the model and completing one turn of the DBTL cycle.

Supplementary material:

Week 3B - DNA Assembly Techniques

June 30:In this molecular biology webinar, we will cover the creation of DNA primers for use in PCR reactions. We will also introduce the key concepts behind Golden Gate Assembly, why it is useful when working with DNA "parts", and then go into using Modular Cloning. There will be demonstrations of designing primers and using DNA parts that are Golden Gate compatible using various Web Apps. iGEM students should also review the iGEM partners page to learn about how to get free DNA synthesis services!

Week 4 - Gibson Assembly and Yeast

July 7:In this molecular biology webinar, we will cover what Gibson Assembly is and how to create a plasmid using this powerful technique. Additionally, we will go over some of the basics of working with yeast and how yeast can be used to also assemble large amounts of DNA using their endogenous pathways.

Week 5A - Quantifying fluorescence and cell count with plate readers

July 14:This webinar begins with a general introduction to fluorescence and OD, including a comparison of plate readers and other types of instruments, factors affecting fluorescence, and how to pick colors based on excitation and emission spectra. The second block of the webinar focuses on calibration of measurements for fluorescence and OD, and on debugging such measurements. Finally, we will end this session with a discussion of how to interpret and debug calibrated plate reader data.

Week 5B - Cell-Free Systems

July 14:This webinar will cover Cell-free (CF) systems. These systems contain all of the cellular components necessary for transcription and/or translation, depending on the specific CF system being used. We will outline why this is an exciting area of research as well as how to use and make these systems.

Week 6A - Quantifying fluorescence and cell phenotypes with flow cytometry

July 21: This webinar begins with an introduction to flow cytometry, including how these instruments operate and the types of data that they produce. The second block of the webinar focuses on calibration of measurements for fluorescence and cell size, and on debugging such measurements. Finally, we will end this session with a discussion of how to interpret and debug calibrated flow cytometry data.

Week 6B - Transformation and Sequencing

July 21: In this molecular biology webinar, we will cover some of the most important techniques for genetically modifying bacteria. We will cover standard electroporation and chemical transformation techniques for E. coli. We will also cover conjugation, a technique commonly used to genetically engineer organisms that are less well studied or organisms that cannot be easily electroporated or chemically transformed. Finally, we will cover the process of Sanger sequencing, look over a sequencing result, and demonstrate how to align sequencing results to a reference file.

Week 7 - CRISPR

July 28

Week 8 - Protein Purification and Characterization

August 4: This Webinar will provide an overview of protein characterization that covers analytical techniques used to purify recombinant proteins and evaluate protein purity. The topics primarily focus on methods employed to characterize the physicochemical properties of targeted proteins. We will begin by discussing important aspects of protein structure taken into consideration when purifying a protein of interest. We will then provide guidelines for selecting appropriate purification methods and evaluating purity using qualitative and quantitative techniques.