About the Biological Circuit Virtual Lab Simulation
The Biological Circuit Lab is the continuation of the Synthetic Biology Lab. In this lab, you will improve the design of the previous biological circuit to target cancer cells. You will use the Gibson assembly technique to clone the circuit parts into the vector that will deliver it to the cells.
Design a biological circuit
In the Biological Circuit lab, your first task is to combine different biological parts to create biological circuits and test them in a cell simulator. Use the specific microRNA profile of cancer cells to design an apoptotic biological circuit that will selectively kill cancer cells. You are the only hope for a patient with a rare form of cancer.
Learn about a novel method to assemble large circuits
The circuit parts are combined with the Gateway cloning technique to produce position vectors that will guide the insertion of the circuit parts into the final circuit. You will learn how unique nucleotide sequences in the position vectors can be used to assemble large biological circuits. Your task is to identify the right sequences to produce the required circular plasmid.
Use PCR to produce circuit parts
You will learn how to use the PCR technique to produce an additional DNA fragment that is needed for the Gibson assembly of the full circuit. After purifying the DNA fragments with magnetic beads, you will clone your plasmid vector with the Gibson assembly technique.The final task of the Biological Circuit lab is to test your circuit in living cells to see if the cancer cells are the only cells that die.
Will you be able to find a cure for this rare form of cancer?
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Techniques In Lab
- Genetic circuit modelling
- Restriction digestion (I-SceI)
- DNA purification with magnetic beads
- Nanodrop measurement
- DNA ligation
- Gibson assembly
At the end of this simulation, you will be able to…
- Understand the different elements of biological circuits
- Use position vectors obtained by Gateway cloning to assemble large biological circuits with the Gibson assembly technique
- Prepare equimolar amounts of different DNA fragments
- Understand the basics of the PCR and how to use it to produce biological circuit parts
Screenshots of Biological Circuit Virtual Lab Simulation
Prof. Ron WeissProfessor of Biological Engineering Synthetic Biology Center at MIT
Shiva Kalinga, PhDManaging Director Synthetic Biology Center at MIT
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