Agara Bio is launching our very own phage hunting project in the Fall 2022 semester. This project is designed to take a deeper look at the tiny viruses that infect bacteria, bacteriophages. We are going to collect samples around the JHU campus to look for these bacteriophages with the hope of discovering new phages. This project is designed for both newer students looking to get more involved with wet-lab techniques and more experienced students wanting to explore the world of phage hunting.
Agara Bio’s gene gun project is underway with the production of our very own gene gun. Our goal is to develop open-source protocols for the bioproduction and purification of the antiviral lectin Griffithsin using rice. To do this we are developing an open-source gene gun to enable high-throughput biolistic transformations, assemble a Griffithsin expression plasmid, and then express and purify GRFT from the seeds of transformed and regenerated rice calluses. We are looking for dedicated members with an interest in the project to facilitate the production of our gene gun.
Our Bioreactor project is using a previous design from the Open Bioeconomy lab to construct a device usable for culture, protein production, and/or directed evolution. While the Open Bioeconomy Lab design was effective in its mechanical design, we have found that by using glass-filled polypropylene and designing a custom PCB we can create a truly autoclavable and more reliable, and safe device. Looking for dedicated students with an interest in culturing, protein production, and directed evolution.
The main goal of our 3-D Printer project is to be able to print various projects that can expedite and assist other processes in the lab. We hope to automate the process so that we can control the printer from home and not be present in the lab to print. Looking for dedicated students with a background in 3-D printing.
Agara Bio has recently purchased the Opentron OT-2 robot, which will allow us to fully automate many of the lab processes we do here in the lab. Once we get it up and running, we will be able to perform several experiments fully automated and away from the robot. Looking for dedicated students with an interest in computing and lab automation to help get the Opentrons up and running.
We are attempting to reconcile three major cancer vaccine challenges—low immunogenicity, limited adjuvant use, and burst release kinetics—by relying on recent advances in phage display, polymeric microparticle fabrication, and hydrogel synthesis technology. Looking for dedicated students with interests in fighting cancer, immunology & phage bioengineering.
Home Protein Project
The Home Protein Project hopes to synthesize creatine in a plant for easy home synthesis. We will begin by prototyping our gene circuit in a bacterial system, and then translate it into a fungus, and then a plant.