Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crunch Time in Second Life

Hello again! This week has been another busy week for us Second Lifers. We are wrapping up a lot of our work for the summer. Patrick's update about the biobricker from last week was awesome, and this week I'll be describing what we've been up to in the Synthetic Kingdom and the Labs.

In the Synthetic Kingdom (where we show potential applications of synthetic biology), we are completing the pathway through the levels, and the descriptions and instructions for the stations. We will also be completing descriptions of free moving bacteria that can be interacted with, which visitors can try to look for them while following the path, creating a dynamic environment that still provides guidance for users. This area will also be expanded to include descriptions of past iGEM projects in an "iGEM Hall of Fame". The pathway through the kingdom is complete, as well as the individual stationed activities and the drop in point. Now we are just building on it to make it clear what sort of things we want users to learn as they travel through the kingdom.

All of the lab scripts are complete, and all of the lab activity parts have been duplicated and modified for the second lab. We are still working on the instructions and descriptions for each of these activities. Now that the lab missions are fully functional, we've also created prizes to be given for successful completion of the lab , as an incentive. As the lab missions get successively more difficult, the awesomeness of the prizes increases. :)

Since the lab component is mainly complete, we have begun working on base of the biobricker helix, where we will be putting up exhibits and other objects that will explain some basics: what are genes, how gene expression can be modified, replication, transcription, translation, and some important parts of iGEM (the registry, how biobricking works, etc.).

We're getting nearer to the end of summer, so now we're trying to complete as much as we can in hopes of having most (if not all) of the island ready for people to explore.

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