UCSF iGEM 2013 Group Photo
Brainstorming project ideas during our second week of Bootcamp
Presenting a poster at the UCSF Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology retreat
Having a skype meeting with one of our mentors!
Human Practices: Speaking about Synthetic Biology at the SF Exploratorium
Having fun outside of the lab making ice cream with dry ice

Operation CRISPR: Deploying precision guided tools to target unique species in a complex microbiome

In microbial communities, bacterial populations are commonly controlled using indiscriminate, broad range antibiotics. There are few ways to target specific strains effectively without disrupting the entire microbiome and local environment. The goal of our project is to take advantage of a natural horizontal gene transfer mechanism in bacteria to precisely affect gene expression in selected strains. We combine bacterial conjugation with CRISPRi, an RNAi-like repression system developed from bacteria, to regulate gene expression in targeted strains within a complex microbial community. One possible application is to selectively repress pathogenic genes in a microbiome, leaving the community makeup unaffected. In addition, we use CRISPRi to lay the groundwork for transferring large circuits that enable complex functionality and decision-making in cells.

Special Thanks to our 2013 iGEM Team Sponsors!