Description: Substances such as drinking water, groundwater, runoff, and other chemically exposed areas have sustained much damage to both their quality and purity. Common pollutants include alcohols, esters, and other organic substances that pose harm to organisms when ingested in large quantities. Current methods of purification involve exposing the toxic substrates to more chemicals, which, while are effective, also lead to a mixture of more chemical substances in the original substrate. The issues in detoxification lie within inapplicable delivery systems and a lack of absorbance and efficiency. However, detoxification has proven to be an effective way to minimize amount of chemicals used for maximum efficiency. We aim to solve this issue by engineering a multi-functional plasmid to be implanted in E. Coli bacteria for detoxification of contaminated groundwater. Our plasmid will achieve three main aims: 1. The plasmid will contain 2 genes: the first being CYP2E1, and the second being adhE. CYP2E1 serves to break down harmful substances including acetone and ethanol, whilst adhE breaks down additional alcohols. 2. These genes will recognize substances of interest and be effective in breaking down the toxins into simpler, safer compounds. 3. The plasmid will be purified and isolated for possible implantation into a variety of biological systems. We honed in on these two genes due to their already biologically proven abilities to process alcohols and other toxic organic substances. Because the CYP2E1 gene is more commonly found in mammalian organisms, and is not found in E. Coli, we aim to utilize the metabolism encoded for in this gene in conjunction with the already found aldehyde dehydrogenase gene in E. Coli to enhance its detoxification abilities. Our hope is that this multifunctional plasmid, or the E. Coli platform itself, will be able to be applied to a wide range of detoxification processes involving these organic compounds. In the meantime, we work to develop a filtration system using indirect exposure to the secreted proteins as a method of purifying the water.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16