What tasks have our team members finished?
The prototype of our project was raised by Guanyu Chen in our brainstorm session in March, 2021. This idea was then modified and improved by Kexin Dong and Zichen Liu. Our investigators Prof. Jiangyun WANG and Prof. Xiaohong LIU helped in our project design. Our adviser Zhichen Guo, Yun DONG, Ziyi ZHAO and Chutian Chen also offered help in project design and modelling.
Based on the design of our project, we plan to test its ability to degrade caffeine at room temperature by constructing a complete reaction pathway consisting of the enzyme Cdh, the enzyme CktCs, the coenzyme SAM, and the coenzyme Q0. The related plasmid transfer, bacterial culture and protein purification were done by Ji Sun and Xinyi Rao.
In addition, considering that the optimal working temperature of the above two enzymes is lower than that of hot coffee, we plan to improve the heat resistance of the two enzymes by directed evolution, and the related work was done by Zhijia Zhang and Wanghaoming Zhang. Under the suggestion of our PI, we used the prediction software PROSS to rationally design the related enzyme structures in order to improve the efficiency of directed evolution, and the related work was done by Miaolin Xiao.
Considering the cost of caffeine degradation, we hope to carry out the industrial production of coenzyme SAM by introducing the relevant genes into the engineering bacteria to reduce the production cost and improve the production efficiency. The related research and attempts were done by Zichen Liu. The daily management of the experimental group, the experimental planning and the purchase of experimental consumables were carried out by Kexin Dong.
Due to the impact of the covid-19 epidemic, some of our experiments have not been completed yet, whose results may could not be obtained before wiki freeze. Therefore, we plan to continue the experiment later this year and supplement the necessary experimental results. Fortunately, we got the results about several parts of our project, and the experiments were did by our members Ji Sun, Xinyi Rao, Kexin Dong, with our advisers Zhichen Guo.
In order to demonstrate the feasibility of our project more rigorously, we will combine our experimental results and literature argumentation to proof our concepts, present our experimental progress and literature research as comprehensively as possible.
The main purpose of our modeling is to theoretically verify the feasibility of the project design by constructing a mathematical model, and to provide theoretical guidance for the concrete implementation of the project. The model about the efficiency of caffeine degradation cartridge was mainly constructed, verified and adjusted parameters by Yiyi Wang. The model about the efficiency of the work of the custom coffee cup degrading caffeine is mainly constructed by Xinchen Han. Qihan Liu was responsible for constructing the model of human caffeine metabolism, which provided theoretical guidance for the software implementation. In this process, Chen provided us with modelling guidance and suggestions.
The main body of our hardware design is a caffeine degradation cartridge and a specialty coffee cup with functions like caffeine detection, temperature detection and caffeine degradation. Among them, the enzyme electrode to complete caffeine detection, as one of the highlights of our hardware, was mainly designed and completed by Shenwen Yao and Zhuoxun Chen. Also, glucosidase, which has similar properties to our target enzyme, was chosen for testing. In our project design, we want to immobilize two tool enzymes in a cartridge or coffee cup to complete the degradation of caffeine. The research and implementation related to the enzyme immobilization was done by Zhuoxun Chen, and the experimental group provided guidance from the theoretical literature. In order to combine our software and hardware design to build a full range of caffeine intake management ecology, we designed a micro Bluetooth for data transmission to cell phone applets, whose related design and assembly was done by Zhuoxun Chen. Yiyi Wang completed the design and 3D modeling of the conceptual model of the specialty coffee cup, and finally obtained the physical model of the coffee cup through 3D printing.
In addition, considering the strong practicality and commercial value of our project, Zhuofan Wen wrote the user manual and business plan for the project, and communicated with several companies. Yue Zhang wrote a reasonable production plan for the industrial production from enzymes to coffee cups. Our advisor Yu Song provided guiding suggestions for our project design.
In this information era, cell phones are gradually becoming an important assistant in people's lives. The main body of our software tool is a smart applet based on WeChat, an APP that is widely used in China or even the world. It enables data transfer with our custom coffee mugs, smart bracelets and other tools, which can detect the body's physical state and provides users with guidance suggestions based on a built-in mathematical model. The implementation of the relevant program was done by Wenyi Li and Ziyuan Gao. In addition, in order to popularize the iGEM competition and give more people the opportunity to participate in this competition, we have an ambitious idea - to build an open and shared online education platform for iGEM with iGEM teaching resources and participation guidance. We plan to finish building this platform in the next 2-3 years. The related webpage construction is done by Yuchen Liu and Jiaji Zhu.
Our human practice activities are carried out by all members of the team. The exchange and discussion with other iGEM participating teams, the visit to related product companies and the interview with related experts and scholars were mainly organized and recorded by Juanhan Chen. Guanyu Chen was responsible for the early project research, including but not limited to the cafe walk and questionnaire survey. Qihan Liu was responsible for the organization of several on-campus science activities and the Microbial Painting Competition. In addition, we also held or participated in several educational activities, going into primary and secondary schools to teach them about biology in our lives and distributing our specially made beautiful brochures, which were mainly organized Ji Sun and Yuchen Liu.
Our wiki was designed by Yuchen Liu and Fengling Huang. The coding work was finished by Yuchen Liu, Jiaji Zhu and Dingxi Zhang. The paperwork was finished by the joint effort of almost every one of the team, and finally summarized and modified by Yuchen Liu and Qihan Liu.
The promotion video is finished by Guanyu Chen and Yuchen LIU.
The presentation video was planned by GuanYu Chen, filmed and post-edited by Wenyi Li, and starred Dingxi Zhang and Bowen Liu.
Art Work and Design
Our art work, including team logo, team uniform, souvenirs, science brochures and all related art materials, were accomplished by our excellent art designer Yinuo Chen and Hehuan Cao.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Project support and advice
Prof. Pingyong XU generously provided advice on experiment design.
Prof. Xiaohong Liu generously provided advice on project design and experiment design.
Prof. Jiangyun Wang generously provided advice on project design and experiment design.
Zhichen Guo and Chutuan Chen attended our project defense and give detailed advice.
Fang Li helped us apply for labs, purchase reagents and project supplies.
Fundraising help and advice
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Science
Prof. Jiangyun Wang, IBP, CAS provided his lab for our experiments.
College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, provided a lab for experiments.
Prof. Xiaohong Liu, Advisor Zhichen Guo, Chutian Chen and Yun Dong helped in laboratory management.
Difficult technique support
Zhichen Guo, Ziyi Zhao and Yun Dong provided important advice and instructions in laboratory.
Chutian Chen provided important advice and instructions on Modelling.
Yu Song and Zhaoyi Liao offered important advice on hardware design.
Prof. Jiangyun Wang coached us in our presentation.
Prof. Xiaohong Liu coached us in our presentation.
Zhichen Guo coached us in our presentation.
Human Practice support
Fang Li, College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Undergraduates from UCAS
Starry Sky Volunteers of UCAS
Ph.D. Baojun WU, Executive Deputy Secretary-General of UCAS Association for Science and Technology gave us suggestions on how to make a popular science brochure.
Prof. Yong TAO from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Prof. Pingyong XU from the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Mr. Tim from Manner Coffee
Workers from Starbucks Reserve
Coffee roaster Mr. ma
Coffee makers from Metal Hands and Berry Beans
Manager of Half Half Café
Mr. Zhou from SUNSON
Students from UCAS participated in our bacterial painting activity.
All the respondents in our coffee questionnaire.
All the students who participated in our teaching activities come from Hua'ao Primary School and several other schools.
Zhichen Guo and Yuanli Gao offered us some advice and designs on bio-safety.
Prof. Jiangyun Wang and Prof. Yong Tao offered us several important advice on bio-safety.
Some enzyme companies offered us some guides on bio-safety.