Team:ETH Zurich/HEducational


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Colisweeper : a kit for synthetic biology lab courses

Colisweeper is a perfect tool to teach basic molecular biology techniques in the lab. In a fun way students can learn about principles of synthetic biology, circuit design and mathematical modeling while getting to know sterile techniques, handling of BLS1 organisms, solution preparation, plasmid mapping and many things more. In this section we want to outline how such a lab course could be built up.
To play Colisweeper one should have a basic knowledge about working in a biological laboratory. Pipetting and sterile handling of the plates are necessary. But Colisweeper can also be used to teach various other techniques. Transformation of the Colisweeper strain with the four plasmids, a restriction digest for plasmid mapping, preparation of all solutions necessary and much more can be packed into such a course. Depending on the background knowledge of the students as well as the time and laboratory resources, it could be possible to place lecture sections about synthetic biology in general, basics of mathematical modeling and so on.

Figure 1: Colisweeper can be used to teach concepts of synthetic biology in a fun way.
Figure 2: Our idea of a Colisweeper lab course kit.

Protocol for the Colisweeper labcourse