As I talked about yesterday, waiting is one of the worst parts of research.
Today, I discovered another part of research that really sucks: getting scooped.
Turns out that Penn State's iGEM team is working on a project pretty much exactly like ours - making an E.Coli biosensor for bisphenol A in environmental samples. I'm not going to point fingers and cry "Thieves!" since there's no evidence they are directly copying our project, but we all thought our project was pretty novel up until 5 minutes ago. True, we havent really been scooped - their project isn't finished or been published - but Penn State has more resources at their finger tips and has the potential to blow our project out of the water. Our project has alot more aspects to it, though: we are developing a cell-free system, a degradation pathway in addition to the biosensor and tools to move the system into plants. So if we work hard, we can kick their butts. Nonetheless, we now have direct competiton. It'll be pretty embarassing in November if we lose to a team with a nearly identical (yet less intricate) project; the very idea for which was originally ours.