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Build-a-BUG is our signature course. Learn the basics of synthetic biology while doing some really interesting projects!

Build-a-BUG Series 1: E. coli Quorum Sensor

Instructor: Tom Burkett

Build-a-BUG Series 2: Yeast Spore Mating Type Detector

Instructor: Dileep Monie

Learn the fundamentals of synthetic biology in eukaryotes! We will use BioBrick standard biological parts to engineer Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a classic model organism and the yeast commonly used in winemaking, baking, and brewing. This yeast can be induced to form spores, which are daughter cells with half the number of chromosomes. Similar to the sperm and egg cells of male and female animals, these spores can be one of two mating types: a or α. An a spore can mate with an α spore to form a new yeast cell. The goal will be to build a yeast that when sporulated will yield mating type α spores that fluoresce red. This project has potential real-world biotechnology applications (e.g. streamlining the identification of spores for downstream mating experiments).