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Exploring genealogy through mtDNA
Russell Durrett and Sung won Lim wants to explore bioinformatics through personal genetics. They are currently developing protocols for cheap, efficient sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from human cheek cells in order to sequence the non-diagnostic regions of the mtDNA. The goal is to provide individuals with the first sequence of their own DNA which they can then use to do a personal genetic investigation - with or without simple bioinformatics resources available online - by comparing their sequence to that of the Cambridge Reference Sequence as well as that of their family and friends. The purpose of the exercise is to not only build a scientifically useful dataset, but to spark individual interests in genetics and bioinformatics by making an otherwise dry science more personal. Check out Sung's mitochondrial DNA we sequenced below!


Living temperature sensors & multiple plasmid systems
Sung Won Lim is toying with biobrick based systems to build temperature sensitive synthetic organisms that can be engineered to display different behaviors at different temperatures. He hopes to be able to integrate the same system into a pseudo-biobrick scheme involving transforming cells with multiple distinct plasmids, which would allow people without any sophisticated equipments or understanding of synthetic biology to design and assemble very simple transgenic organisms.


Bacteria that plays games
Daniel Grushkin wants bacteria to play games. He is currently hypothesizing using chemical tracers to make bacteria 'travel' toward or away from one another in a game of microscopic tag. He hopes that through time-lapse video he will be able to see bacterial clones chase one another in a petri dish as an artistic exercise in the power of genetic engineering.

GenieLab Lab
Ellen Jorgensen wants to develop a compact, cost-effective lab-in-a-box based on the collapsable furniture concept that can be built by students and used in schools. The project complements the trend towards simplfication and miniaturization of key lab components such as PCR machines and gel electrophoresis.

High Altitude Microbiome Sampling Station
Oliver Medvedik and Sung are working to launch a stratospheric air sampler to search for presence of microbiome in the high altitude. Check out our prototype and awesome mission patch designed by Oliver below!



iGEM 2011!
Genspace will be a proud host and participant of the 2011 Columbia-Cooper Union iGEM team, with number of our members collaborating as students, mentors and instructors! Stay tuned to the Genspace blog for more updates.


Russ' new PCR machine at Futurelabcamp
Genspace recently co-sponsored an event called Futurelabcamp at our lab, during which Russ demoed his new light-powered PCR. Why stick with heat when you can zap them with light? Check out the amazing picture of the device in operation.


NYC's Lab