Freiburg University 2006


Jump to: navigation, search


Welcome! We are Alife Mutants.

This term was invented by Martin Schneider on the Rule 110 Winter Workshop in 2004 [1]. We play without rules. We discover the rules that govern life, the universe and everything to exploit these rules and to create Artificial Life. Our short-time aim was the trip to Boston in November 2006 to take a prize in the iGEM. The long term goal now is to REALLY do it in 2007!

The poster presentation at Jamboree iGEM2006 - "Barbie Nanoatelier: Open Source DNA-nanotechnology" [ppt,pdf Richard’s correction]


  • we started a new branch of Biobricks depository for DNA-origami parts, devices, and systems;
  • following Paul Rothemund [2] we created an universal DNA-platform for a patterning on the nanometer scale that will allow to organize chemical reactions, assembling and qubits;
  • we proposed a correlation spectroscopy/microscopy for the investigation of DNA folding;
  • we designed the tetrahedral nanobot NAUTILUS, which is a 3D-DNA building block for a hierarchical assembly, nanoswarm, and amorphous computing;
  • we suggested DNA-origami cryptography;
  • we emphasized aesthetic principles of AL-design; and
  • we founded "Barbie Nanoatelier: Open Source DNA-nanotechnology" that’s the way to AL and AI!

Kuznetsov A. Barbie nanoatelier // IET Synth. Biol., Vol. 1, No. 1–2, 2007, pp. 7–12. [3]

The hive #101
The Freiburg Team (well, at least half of it...) from left to right: Irina Petrova, Andrei Kouznetsov, Daniel Hautzinger.

The team (all stars)

Students iGEM instructors Faculty/staff

The motto

Can way over DNA

The project: DNA Folding

No.1 - The Pipe


The idea is to design a strand of DNA such that it wraps into a specific shape.

There are three different stages for this project: First, the DNA should fold into a two-dimensional rectangular sheet. Secondly, this sheet should wrap itself up into the shape of a short pipe. And last, these little pipes should hook themselves up to each other such that they form one single long pipe (more details).
The DNA sequence for the Pipes design can be found here, design picture is here, the set of staples is here. We’ll put the AFM pictures on the wiki as soon as we receive the DNA from the company...

No.2 - Haute Couture: Barbie Nanoatelier

Barbie Nanoatelier: Open Source DNA-nanotechnology

Once the process of DNA folding into 3D structures is understood, shapes can be chosen arbitrarily. The idea of the Barbie Nanoatelier is that the DNA should wrap into a 3D T-Shirt, 3D Pants, etc.

"sea of parts"

We need a library of molecular primitives that could be interchanged in the desirable way for a bottom-up design on the nanometer scale. Registry of DNA molecular parts and standardization is an actual question of bionanotechnology. We just put first examples of a new class of BioBricks - ORIGAMI BioBriks into depository and publish basic ideas [4], [5], [6]. We try to merge a ‘dead DNA’ with an ‘alive DNA’.

Surrealistic Science

We also try to pump some aesthetic principles and rules (symmetry, periodic patterns, recursion, and plasticity) into our creatures. We like it because it needs a huge of imagination and really very difficult. Nobody can build a bra! - von Neumann's self-reproducing ... bra :))

Sketches - T-Shirt from DNA

Olga Soboleva, the presentation in Bremen sponsored by Volkswagen Stiftung

The DNA sequence for the T-Shirt design can be found here, the picture is here, and the staples are here there.

Hey, venture capitalists, where are you? The price of all of 50 billion T-Shirts would be only 7200bases x €0.17/base = €1224. Don’t miss the chance. It could be a great business tomorrow!

Ladies and Gentlemen, please, visit the demonstration of last Nike nano collection. (Enter) Oh, aroma of the podium music

Jobs: Still looking for catwalk models!!

No.3 - Individual projects

Other projects and prices could be found on individual Mutant's pages (Real iPod nano, Captain Nemo). In addition, you can find some hot information on ‘GEM Freiburg Fellow 2006’ page. The other toys will be unconventional computing, cryptography, nanoelectronics, nanooptics, drug delivery systems, smart nanomaterials, nanoswarm, eventually an artificial life and Origami Man. Time is money!

GEM Freiburg



SB Preliminary

Original ideas


Now we see it could be cheaper, but it will need a great intellectual impact. So, we’re opened for sponsors and relationships.


As I understand it, the idea is to create a "life automaton" consisting of 6 proteins? That is what I took out of your proposal. That seems quite ambitioned, but I can't really judge it, and even if it is quite ambitioned, that does not mean that it is bad, of course.

My understanding says that you are using 6000 € for denovo synthesis of 6 genes required for making minimal life. Right?

So, what if after all the simulations and tests on the computer, you order the DNA for minimal life and it turns out that it doesn't work... What will you do then?

This is because biology is unpredictable and you must not assume that the DNA which you order will work in the first time itself... You must keep some backup money or plans...

You have to separate specifically the general and specific objectives to long and short time; implications, obstacles and limitations.

OK, fine.. So you want to go in a completely different direction by creating alternative life.. Good.. All the best for this project.

Well, if you want to go to the extremes then are you limiting yourself to already established phenomena such as DNA, membranes, etc. You may want to adopt a completely new and novel ideas which might be simpler than DNA and other stuff of the normal cell.

So, keep all the options open. Research the literature well and create Artificial Life...

No more child labour, just molecule labour :)

Hey Mutant, have a look!

The easy and serious way. Ja oder Nein?

DNA nanotechnology for newborn Mutants

Fun with DNA The art of DNA origami Science and Creativity From Nautilus to Nanobo(a)ts The Sims A New Kind of Science

These people do great things

Albert Libchaber [7] Carlos Bustamante's lab [8] Darko Stefanovic [9] David Deamer [10] David Liu [11] Ehud Shapiro [12] Eric Kool’s group [13] Erik Winfree [14] Fred Menger’s group [15] Friedrich Simmel [16] Gerald Joyce [17] Hao Yan [18] Jack Szostak’s lab [19] Len Adleman [20] Luc Jaeger [21] Molecular Computing Group [22] Ned Seeman [23] Peixuan Guo [24] Pier Luigi Luisi’s group [25] 'Protolife' by Norman Packard & Mark Bedau [26] Radhika Nagpal [27] Richard Kiehl [28] Seung-Wuk Lee [29] Steen Rasmussen [30] Steven Benner [31] Thomas LaBean [32] William Shih [33] Sorry whom aren’t on the list!


An Analysis of Synthetic Biology Research in Europe and North America [34] SB database [35] DNA synthesis: ATG-Biosynthetics [36] febit [37] 'Spiegel' about iGEM competition on August 14, 2006 [38] 'Neue Zürcher Zeitung' about SB on August 23, 2006 [39] New GEM on the simiki wiki page [40]

Personal tools
Past/present/future years