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Hello, I'm a graduate student in the Tatar lab at Brown University.

John Cumbers

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Box G-W
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912

iGEM Weekly reports:

I work on iGEM about an hour a day the rest of my time is spent working towards my research projects for my PhD.

===Week 1 === I was on vacation

===Week 2 === I've been getting my lab work started and making plans for the next 5 weeks before I go away on a 3 week course. Looking after James Brown and his visit. Working on the health and safety plan for the iGEM lab, we need approval to use the magnetic bacteria. Organising biohazard training for next week and preparing a workshop on modeling. The team leadership seems to be going okay, but a few of the ideas that we talked about last semester have been slow to get started (weekly reports, journal club, visiting speakers) I'm hoping that the leadership of the team can continue to come from the undergrads, but I think we need to improve communication to keep everyone in the loop. I hope that I can contribute to the ideas and help in the future planning for next year.

===Week 3===
This week has been a difficult one for the team I think. Megan and Victoria passed over the leadership to Annie and Jamie but at the same time we thought Azeem's light seeking maze idea was no longer possible as it relies on a double knock out. However, it now looks like we might be able to produce that double knockout so all may not be lost. We attempted to go back to the drawing board and look at parts in the registry but this is a slow process and it feels like we are going backwards to start over at the design stage again. However, the project on creating the fusion protein in them agnetic bacteria looks like a goer, Jason has taken this on and peter is looking into the plasmid. I think the team feels a little lost at the moment but I hope we can find our way. We need a few successes in the lab for things to take off again I think. In other news, I'm starting the Chromatin Immunno precipitation at the ship st. lab tomorrow. The chaos model of insulin sensitivity is coming on okay, I gave a workshop to the iGEM team on modeling with the Systems Biology Workbench and used this as an example.

===Week 4===
I was down at Ship St. all of this week starting on the Chip Chip protocol (my bread and butter, not part of iGEM). It went well, I've isolated chromatin, and prepared some primers to check what I've precipitated. We have two more guest speakers coming, Samantha Sutton from MIT and Farren Isaacs from Harvard. The new freeze tag game idea looks great. the team have split into 4 to produce the parts.

===Week 5===
This week went well, I had a break from Ship st. and had some time back on the main campus. I've been preparing different diets for the fruit fly project and collecting eggs for next week's work. I think the iGEM team is working well together and splitting the project up into parts has really got people motivated to take on their own part in the freeze tag idea. We decided that the wiki should be the responsibility of everyone on the team. Annie and Jamie have taken it on to split up the tasks and make sure everybody contributes equally, they are doing a great job. We are still looking for the vector for the magnatotactic bacteria, and have not heard back from Tokyo about this yet.

I'm now away at Woods Hole, on the Biology of Aging course. Back 19th August

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