lec1_1 - MIT 20.109 Module 1 Class 1 notes(DRAFT 11...

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Unformatted text preview: MIT 20.109 Module 1 Class 1 notes (DRAFT) 11 September 2007 Genome Engineering Drew Endy ( http://mit.edu/endy/ ) Questions for Today A. What can we infer about the design of a genome by considering the physical problems that a biological system solves? B. How is genetic “real estate” divvied up? C. What makes a good genetic “part”? What makes a good genome design? 1. Let s check out a time-lapse movie of bacteriophage lambda induction (all the movies in today s class were taken by Francois St-Pierre, a biology graduate student). Note what the bacterial cells are doing. Reproducing and dividing. I.e., they are reproducing machines. This is no small feat. Imagine building a machine that is only one micron long and that can copy itself!!! 2. [Note that sometime this semester, I expect that a research paper should be pub- lished that will show for the first time that it is possible to construct a copy of a natural bacterial genome from scratch, and place this newly constructed into an empty cell, causing the cell to start growing and dividing. Thus, while we are considering the de- sign of a bacteriophage genome this in 20.109 this Fall, you should expect to be able to apply the concepts you learn here to design microbial and eukaryotic genomes soon enough]. 3. OK, now note that the cells lyse (i.e., are destroyed). In this case, a virus that was latent inside the bacterial cell became active, and destroyed the cells while in the proc- ess of making more copies of itself. What are the various functions that are required to destroy a cell while making progeny phage particles? 4. Let s check out a second movie. In this case the lambda virus is not yet inside the cell. The virus particles appear green because a protein (green fluorescent protein) has been fused to one of the shell (i.e., capsid) proteins of the lambda particle. As a result, all the particles glow green. A few cells become infected by the phage and eventually produce more green particles, and in the process are destroyed. What else can we now infer about these “ strange ” green particles? What new functions must be present? Cite as: Drew Endy. Course materials for 20.109 Laboratory Fundamentals in Biological Engineering, Fall 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare (http://ocw.mit.edu), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Downloaded on [DD Month YYYY]. MIT 20.109 Module 1 Class 1 notes (DRAFT) 11 September 2007...
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lec1_1 - MIT 20.109 Module 1 Class 1 notes(DRAFT 11...

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