Talk:The BioBricks Foundation:Workshop2/Functional Measurement Standards

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Caroline: We got good agreement with Jason's calibration standard. see slides here:

  • Jason sent us the cells containing the plasmids
  • Leonard: you duplicated the results by duplicating the measurements
  • Leonard: We can see that measurements can work in the same organism. But it's not clear across organisms

Problems with beads:

  • Way brighter, different shape than e.coli. Optically not representative?
  • Leonard: Do fluorescnece standards always have to be relative?
  • Caroline: you can report absolute number of molecules per cell, but it's painful and difficult.
  • Leonard: Can we do the measurement kit using a different host cell?

Caroline: In five years, instead of the Miller unit, I think we can build a BB GFP unit.

Drew: But we are doing it now. We have a set of immediate applications. This is a small step forward that enables a whole set of research that just isn't possible without it.

Caroline: It's very helpful to do a linear fit across like 5 levels of dynamic range.

Christina: In 15 years, are labs going to be using their own flavor of the standard measurement system?

Drew: Historical example: manufacture of interchangeable parts for weapons. army would distribute gauges. Then THEY would go around periodically and check the fidelity of the gauges they had promulgated. The standard could require re-calibration of references / equiptment on a periodic basis.

chris: I feel like we're in this mode right now trying to figure out what matters and what doesn't.

Drew: Imagine a world where you can pull components of a shelf that will position the levels of enzymes in different pathways in the way you want. Bootstrapping this is hard.

Barry: Mutability is still a big problem.

Caroline: There are a lot of fluorescent proteins. We all use different ones. The kit gives us a way for measuring promoter strength using GFP units

So maybe one of the goals for this group should be in supporting caroline & jason in getting the first rfc out for testing and comment and improvement

Julius' Summary

  • Specific issues of using beads: have different optical properties, dynamic ranges, hard to compare to fluorescence in cells.
  • standard measurement based on cells is better. It also take growth and growth media into account
  • what would happen if our standard changes in ten years? How is fidelity of measurement standard maintained?

most important things that could happen in next three months:

  • At least 5 tests of the measurement kit (does it need a wider dynamic range?), preferably in different locations
  • Write the measurement kit RFC draft
  • Send note out to community, try and get more tests of measurement
  • Get enthusiastic about the first RFC! whoo!
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