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LASA iGEM to Boston

Raised toward our $8,100 Goal
24 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 09, at 09:00 AM CDT
Project Owners

LASA iGEM to Boston


The LASA iGEM team is a group of passionate high schoolers from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy working at UT’s Ellington Lab on synthetic biology research. Currently, the group is working on a research project to take to iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, a synthetic biology competition held annually in Boston every fall. All funds raised through this Hornraiser project will go towards registration fees, attendance fees, and transportation/lodging expenses.


Our project concerns using bacteria as “reagents,” cellular reagents, in standard molecular biology procedures. Numerous reactions require enzymes as reagents that are often either expensive or difficult to obtain. This can be severely limiting for labs that do not receive much funding, such as high school or community labs. We are currently working on developing bacteria that could serve as replacements to these reagents. By overexpressing enzymes in bacteria and optimizing organisms such as E. coli for reactions, we could eliminate the time-consuming and costly steps of enzyme purification. This would open up many new opportunities for underfunded or resource-deficient labs.


This is not the group's first time participating in iGEM. The LASA team attended iGEM in November of last year and received a bronze medal for their project. The team is aiming to make it to Boston again this year with a bigger and better project! Dr. Ellington, Dr. Mishler and the UT iGEM team, and other individuals at the Ellington Lab have aided the high schoolers with their research in the past and will continue to do so this year as well; however, as the team has little to no affiliation with their high school except in name, the team does not receive any funding from their school and therefore turns to crowdfunding to raise all necessary fees and expenses. With your money, we will be able to pay these fees, allowing us to focus on our project without worrying about finances. Please help us accomplish our goal of raising $8,100.

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Did you know that although DNA only has 4 nucleotides, it can code for 20 amino acids. A donation of a dollar per amino acid, or $20, will help us in paying for the registration fee for the competition.



Humans have 46 chromosomes per cell or 23 pairs. Coffee on the other hand, can have up to 88 chromosomes. Support our journey to the iGEM conference by donating $46, one for each chromosome of DNA.



During a cellular process (transcription), poly-A tail of around 150 base pairs is added to a piece of RNA. A donation of a dollar for every A nucleotide onto mRNA would help us get to our goal of paying the competition's registration fees.



In eukaryotes (like humans!) rRNA is found in clusters of up to 400 repreats. A dollar per repeat, $400, would help us get one step closer to meeting our registration goal. As a thank you, you will receive a quick behind the scenes video from the iGEM competition.



In 1951, Linus Pauling and his coworkers proposed the alpha helix and the beta pleated sheet as the two main motifs of protein secondary structure. In our project, the end product is often useful proteins. Your donations would help cover about half the registration cost of the competition. As a thank you, you will get an exclusive video of us walking through the project.

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