Due to the unfortunate impact of COVID19, our team only had the pleasure to meet and discuss with a few teams. During the online sharing session with HKSCC team, we learnt about their amazing project, of which specifically tackles the problem of pollution!
Although we had chosen to use very different approaches, we shared many common ideas, given that our projects were both involved protein adhesion. Therefore, we chose to establish a collaboration with a specific focus on adhesion functionality of cellulose binding domain.
We organised a share session to present our idea on using human and milk protein as an environmental friendly flame retardant protein, Moreover, we have further introduced our initial thought of using adhesive protein to improve our protein’s efficiency on flame retardancy and its potential range of application. In turn, HKSSC iGEM team presented their respective projects: "Production of PdRp-CBD complex for recovery of palladium from palladium ions”, and introduced us on how they designed cellulose binding domain (CBD) as the affinity tag protein for the purification of their peptide after washing and recover palladium. These gave us a more detailed and precise idea of CBD’s potential. In addition, HKSCC team has also provided us with CBD extraction protocols and suggestions for our experiments.
Due to the second outbreak of COVID19 in Hong Kong, lab experiments were no prohibited. In assist, we have helped HKSSC iGEM team by conducting a few of experiments, namely the evaluation on binding abilities of the cellulose binding domains. We have design and ordered new biobricks: CBD - alpha – Casein – RFP (BBa_K3503010) and alpha – Casein – RFP (BBa_K3503009) to help the evaluation. Through the fluorescent signal from RFP, we have demonstrated that the present of CBD would significantly increase the attachment of alpha – Casein to bedsheet fabrics under different washing methods (Washing / Soaking). Moreover, we have observed that proteins behaves differently between washed and soaked conditions. As results displayed, the adhesion had both become weaker after the process. The Intensity measurement obtained was 4515 (92.9%) after soaking, and 3442 (56.7%) after washing, compare with the control peak (5582) for CBD-Alpha casein-RFP (K3503010). Of note, measurements are based on the third peak in each figure. While intensity of RFP signal from the original alpha – Casein declined from 6354 to only 12.7% (808) and 11.7% (743) after soaking and washing, respectively.
From our collaboration we learnt about the binding ability of the cellulose binding domain, and think that perhaps in future, application of adhesive protein would have variable use and our own project could soon actually contribute in a new way to solve the pollution problem.
In all, their depth in which they are exploring the various topics and how they link science advancements with social issues really helped us understand more of iGEM: it is something more than a scientific competition, and that it is always important for scientists, young or old to bear the responsibility of improving the lives of humanity."
The adhesion levels of proteins after different levels of processing (non-washing, after washing with water, and soaking)
Online Sharing Session