The BioBricks Foundation:Standards/Technical/Measurement

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Goals of the BBF Measurement Working Group

  • We aim to submit the following standards for comment in advance of the June workshop:
    • the definition of a consensus relative fluorescence unit of measure - a 'Biobricks E. coli GFP fluorescence unit'
    • a standard method for measuring promoter strengths

Briefing on Measuring Promoters & RBSs

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  • Video from Jason Kelly introducing a standard measurement kit for characterizing BioBrick promoters and RBSs. (feel free to comment via talk page, blog, email, smoke signal, etc.)

Promoter measurement test

Plate reader & FACS measurements of the promoter set at MIT

FACS of promoter set at Lawrence Berkeley

FACS measurements of promoter set at Johns Hopkins




Histogram of the MIT FACS data above, sorry there's no legend, but just wanted to show that the peaks aren't multimodal. The numbers reported as 'FACS' in the bar chart are the geometric means of these peaks reported relative to I20260 (dark blue).


  1. Dyer BW, Ferrer FA, Klinedinst DK, and Rodriguez R. A noncommercial dual luciferase enzyme assay system for reporter gene analysis. Anal Biochem. 2000 Jun 15;282(1):158-61. DOI:10.1006/abio.2000.4605 | PubMed ID:10860516 | HubMed [1]