Team meeting notes 12.04.17

Francis is new to the project and arrived a little earlier to give his input. He can help us with mass spectrometry and other analysis methods to determine if we’re working with insulin. He does have some technical questions about purity and the kind of buffer of the samples.

This is partially answered by the fact that we will start from the bacteria, so we do the extraction of the molecules and hence control the buffer and purity.

Francis thinks the legal aspect will play a big role. In his biotech job, patent blocking is a very common thing. He thinks some of the methods mentioned in the documents are already not available without having to pay for licenses. We should clear this out at some point.

  • How much research did CCL do on this?
  • Do they have an expert looking into it?
  • Massimiliano will contact experts in Belgium to hear their opinion.

A discussion on the communication aspect of the project: the main takeaway is that it has to be for a specific goal. It seems like now, we can get by with almost no budget. We can get a lot of stuff via-via, if all options go through. There’s no point in doing eg. a crowdfunding for very low amounts. We don’t have a real call to action yet, so we risk wasting opportunities. We’re still “talking about things we’re about to do but are still a little uncertain”, rather than “things we’ve done/are doing”. The story misses some power for now and we need to clear stuff out.

When we need serious budget, and have a concrete call to action, we should plan things carefully to time them right, tell the right story. Arne points out the importance of having a website, an email address and perhaps a legal structure when there is more money involved. This in order to look more legit and to not burden other organizations with the administrative aspect.

Angela and Massimiliano think that talking about the history of insulin and diabetes, with fascinating stories, will work well for the educational aspect.

Timeline & actions

We drafted a rough timeline in ideal conditions:

  • 12 May: received bacterial samples, start culturing
  • 31 May: successful culturing, start extraction of compounds & plan analysis
  • 31 August: finished analysis runs & made follow-up plans

We’ll try to minimize delays by leaning on the practical experience CCL already collected, to avoid failures in lab work.

Winnie will find out protocols/shipping

@arnepauwels will figure out if OBL will be available when the samples arrive and in the summer

@Rita will collect the consumables when we know more about the protocols

Next time we meet on April 26th, 8pm @ ReaGent!


Good work and proper welcomes.

Hi all, just to chime in and welcome on board @Scigrades , @stevenvv90 , @CatherineS , @arnepauwels , @GLS9000 , @ritavht .

Let me know if you need help browsing edgeryders or the OpenInsulin discussion group. A User Manual for the platform is here, should you need it.


News from CCL

Anthony @dfko  is checking with the person in charge of preparing samples & the guy who is helping with shipment where they are at with. Status update soon.

They are changing the genetic construct a little bit to optimize it towards production (this confirms what we discussed shorty during the meeting @ritavht, @stevenvv90  ). CCL has worked out the growth and expression well, so they will drop and change some elements (eg. gfp visualization is not needed anymore). We will be receiving the first construct however, as it will be better to get started.

Regarding the cost estimate for our first steps, Anthony can answer specific questions about the cost of materials. I’ll follow up on that.

Science Espresso

@stevenvv90 , @ritavht , @arnepauwels  , @CatherineS , @Angela_Pisani  /end wall of pings

Technopolis asked ReaGent to do a small event on citizen science in health care a while back. The Science Espresso format is a short talk and interaction of a (citizen) scientist with the audience.

We had already set the date on 12 July 2017, 7pm. I figured we might as well use this time to present Open Insulin. The timing is suddenly close by (they want to start communications soon), so we should decide this week.

Following the discussion on timing of communication: what are your opinions on this: is it too early or do we go for it?

Moving the lab + dwelling on the safe side

As we have to unexpectedly move the ReaGent lab this summer, the event won’t go through. This also allows us to dwell on the safe side regarding our communication stance for Open Insulin.

There is, however, a small event on data early May in Brussels where I will briefly present the project in ~5min and see if any people want to participate. That seems more like the kind of outreach we should be doing at this point.

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Trolls, our nemesis

<Groan> Patent trolls. Typical.

I have no idea how to do due diligence on the license status of bio lab processes. Am afraid I can’t help much here, except by putting the word out in search of a kind soul who knows and will share what she knows. Is Francis going to be leading this?