When communicating with UESTC-China team members and coaches, we found out that when they were looking for suitable biobricks to conduct synthetic biology experiments, they could not find suitable biobricks. They also found that the information is insufficient and search for biobricks is not user-friendly enough. Therefore, we built a bio-brick database based on database integration, which dedicates to solve the problem of unclear bio-bricks, incomplete information and poor user experience in the iGEM Registry. The entire project consists of 3 parts. Database integration, information retrieval and display and Bio-chess.
First, We integrates 8 traditional biological research databases such as Uniprot, EPD, and String to provide users with more biobrick information. Users can use BioMaster to obtain information on biobrick sites, interactions, function keys, GO annotations and related references. With those information, users can use biobricks and even design and improve biobricks more accurately. In addition, we also collected information from teams’ wiki in 2005-2017.Users can search previous wikis to learn more about iGEM and synthetic biology to get inspired.
Information retrieval and display
In order to enable users to quickly and accurately find useful information, BioMaster provides 4 ways to search. Users can retrieve related bio-bricks using a variety of IDs (Uniprot_id, EPD_id and iGEM_id) or gene names. We also extracted biobrick and wiki keywords for users to directly search for biobricks or retrieve previous projects. In addition, we also provide a sequence searching method. The blast tool is provided in the Bio-Master, users can directly find the matching bio brick by entering the sequence.
At the same time, when the user can't find a suitable biobrick, BioMaster provides a reference to the promoters predicted from the E. coli genome.
Finally, we also plotted the interaction scatter plot, the plasmid map and the locus map to visually present the searched information to the user.
In order to promote synthetic biology and iGEM to the public, we developed a synthetic biology strategy game, Bio-chess. The basic idea of this game is to win the game in order of acquiring the target gene, constructing the expression vector and introducing the target cell to express the target gene. Players can learn about synthetic biology in the game
In addition, we developed the board game and PC versions of Bio-chess, players can not only play it face-to-face with companions but also experience the fun of synthetic biology online.