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Student Registration/Questionnaire

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20.109 Spring 2007

Last Name


First Name


Preferred name


Course 20, minor in French, strong interest in neuroscience

Year of Graduation


Telephone #



emilie7 at mit dot edu

Have you taken

7.05/5.07 (Biochemistry) currently taking
7.06 (Cell Biology) no
7.02 (General Biology Lab) no
5.310 (General Chemistry Lab) no

Do you have any experience culturing cells (mammalian, yeast or microbial)?

Do you have any experience in molecular biology (electrophoresis, PCR, etc)?

Please briefly describe any previous laboratory experience

UROP in Fee Lab in McGovern Institute, BCS. February 06- present. I do brain surgery on songbirds (lesions, tracers, and electrophysiology), perform profusions, histology, immunochemistry, and microscopy.

Anything else you would like us to know?

Optional: As mentioned in lecture on 02.06.07, we would like you to consider how, as a biological engineer you might test the superstition "Spit on a bat before using it for the 1st time to make it lucky."

I would perform a double blind experiment in which both athletes testing bats and evaluators scoring performance of the bats do not know which bats have been spit upon. One could then statistically analyze the data from bats that had and had not been spit upon to see if bats with spit on them were any luckier. If, as I suspect, they are not, then I have proven that I do not need to go into molecular analysis of the spit to try to find the elements which contribute to the luck.

M13 Genome Engineering

Gene Functions and Re-engineering Ideas

PI Phage Secretion: C-terminals of P1 and P11 interact with N-terminal of P4 to form a complex through which mature phage are secreted.
PII Replication: Initiates genome replication by nicking the double stranded phage DNA Without P2, could the bacteria still make the phage gene products without replicating the phage DNA? If we remove P2 (and P5), could we use this virus to insert other genes into the bacteria? NOTE: Altering the second half of P2 will affect P10.
PIII Rounded Tip of Filament: First protein to interact with the E. coli host pilus during infection and last point of contact as phages bud from bacteria. without P3, phage cannot fully escape host. We might change P3 such that the phage was only capable of infecting a different host other than E. coli, if the need arose.
PIV Phage Secretion: N-terminal of P4 interacts with C-terminals of P1 and P11 to form a complex (stable, barrel-shaped structure) through which mature phage are secreted. Unless phages bottle-neck at the secretion complexes such that secretion becomes the limiting factor in phage production, it does not seem that modifying the proteins that form this complex will help expedite or even really alter our process
PV Phage Packaging: sequesters + stranded phage DNA to be packaged into new phage particles If we have a stronger promoter in front of this gene, phage packaging might occur faster, giving us more efficient production times. However, if too many + strands are taken away, this will hurt the DNA Replication process. Furthermore, no matter how many + strands are sequestered, we will still need enough coat protein to package these strands of DNA, so a strong promoter in front of this gene alone might prove useless.

M13 Design Constraints

The Family Tree: M13's closest evolutionary relatives