User:Nkuldell:SB starter kit

From OpenWetWare
Jump to navigationJump to search

Use this space as a scratch pad for your ideas and thoughts and experiences as we develop some teaching materials geared for SB starters (e.g. iGEM teams without resident synthetic biology community, or social scientists trying to understand technology that underlies the field).

The slate is still nearly blank, though I've seeded this site with some organizational ideas....all subject to change and heavy editing.

look at resourced listed on James Brown's "getting started" site: [1]

One thought offered by Caroline, "the limits of your language are the limits of your world"-Ludwig Wittgenstein

"front page"

  • welcomes to synthetic biology
  • two sentence overview of the field
  • two sentence overview of goals of tutorial
  • two sentence overview of how to use tutorial

Tab: Biology for Engineers

  • culture celebrates understanding and description of natural world
  • central dogma
  • start with "this is a cell"
  • unifying example to ground details?

Tab: Engineering for Biologists

  • culture celebrates building things
  • predictable
  • modular, interchangeable components
  • measurement
  • standards

Tab: Lab techniques/Registry Starter kit

  • mRFP cloning examples
  • BBa_J16000 and BBa_J16002 are the two parts which I'd like students to start with for the following reasons:
    • Employs the idea of putting both basic parts and component ("inverter device") parts together.
    • Both systems can be controlled using externally added chemicals (IPTG, Tetracycline) with measurable flourescence output
    • All parts well-characterized
    • mCherry protein has LVA tag for fast degradation
    • Non-linear behaviour exhibits complexity beyond electronic parts
    • Contains almost all canonical part categories (RBS, regulatory, device, terminator, protein coding, reporter...)

Social implications

  • might direct to Q/A from PoET/SB collaboration
  • this may not need a tab or section of its own


I think we could exemplify the concept of abstraction and stress its importance by designing the iGEM tutorial / primer in a hierarchical way, such that any step in an initially superficial "high-level" recipe for constructing an archetypal device out of parts from the registry could be deepened and explored for more sophisticated, complicated "low-level" information. Maybe we could use AJAX to facilitate the expansion and compression of the levels of abstaction. Or maybe we should just use normal hyperlinks. In any case, I think it would be really neat if the whole primer initially took up no more than one page when printed out. I think that degree of simplification would necessitate a mature abstraction hierarchy (and hence could be a good goal for us) and its initial brevity would make it less overwhelming for newcomers. --Macowell 00:37, 23 June 2006 (EDT)

Useful teaching resources already freely available


These books are online at ncbi (searchable, but not directly browseable):


papers & presentations

other websites

  • DNAi - excellent interactive explanations of the science of basic molecular biology. For instance, check out the "Recombining DNA" animation under Manipulation->Techniques->Cutting & Pasting
  • Registry Help page - start here!
  • Teaching Resources at the iGEM wiki
  • Blogs