Thursday, February 23, 2017

Constraints and innovations

There were many constraints that came along with this lab. One of the first things that we encountered had to do with the size of our team. Communication and planning, especially with drafting up a sketch of our model, became more difficult. It was harder to stay connected with some of us working on different aspects of the project. Some of us would be working on individual amino acids while others put together more complex proteins or constructed the membrane. We had to also work with the constraints of the zometools. There are only certain ways in which we can connect them to one another. After our initial sketch, we had to attempt to build it before redrafting to create something that worked with our zometools rather than against them. We had to choose the right sizes and arrange them in a way that they could actually attach to one another. We innovated by sticking to our jobs and cooperating with one another to create the plan we imagined. We made sure that we talked throughout the process to ensure that we were all on the same page while our phospholipid bilayer membrane and permeating protein were constantly evolving. Another difficulty that we encountered was carefully making the protein permeate the phospholipid bilayer. The pieces are delicate and prone to falling apart. When we were connecting the membrane around and through the protein, we had to be sure to be extremely delicate.

Overall, this lab was fun in the way that we had to be organized in our approach and work through the problem thoughtfully as a team. Because one of our constraints was that we were not allowed to have straight lines, Kerry and I made sure that we put the lines into the balls at certain angles. We utilized lines of all sizes to make sure everything was connected. This required some approximate measurement on our part. Overall, though, we didn’t have many constraints except for the size of the materials and restrictions of what qualifies as a phospholipid bilayer membrane. Our innovations came from making sure that our membrane was able to hold the protein we initially built.

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