UCL

Description: Due to the enthusiasm of the team members, we came up with a variety of interesting ideas during our brainstorming sessions. A few of our discontinued favourites included: a how to survive on mars concept and a means to control the weather (in true British style). At first we found it challenging to narrow our ideas down to one project idea. However, once we explored the potential of each topic in context of the BioBrick components and how we could integrate Human Practices within the idea it became easier. This enabled us to focus upon feasible ideas, with room for creativity, whilst eliminating those which were not suitable. Next, we looked at existing BioBricks created previously by iGEM teams, and consequently how we could contribute to enlarging the registry and broadening the application of synthetic biology. We found that the whole team really felt that ageing was a great topic to explore within iGEM and has a huge potential to make both social, cultural and economic impact. BioSynthAge: Do not go gentle into that good night We envision a time in which the human population lives a healthier life, for longer. We will use synthetic biology to ensure the ageing world population can both maintain their quality of life and extend their lifespan - increasing their ‘healthspan’. The health challenges currently posed by ageing are many and complex so we propose a suite of synthetic biology solutions to tackle these challenges. Our synthetic biology solutions will include, but not be limited to, the following: Oxidative stress - the root problem Oxidative stress underlies many of the health problems of ageing so we will develop a number of free radical mopping devices. These devices will include therapeutic bacterial chassis triggered by oxidative-stress to deliver free-radical mopping compounds. To lay a conceptual foundation for genetic tools that address ageing within human cells, we will also use gene-editing tools to map the relationship between telomerase expression and cellular robustness to oxidative stress. False teeth - a thing of the past Increasing tooth loss remains a feature of old age in humans throughout the world. We will harness synthetic biology to improve the dental health of the ageing population by designing bacteria that do not cause decay but actually prevent it. These biofilm-fillings will provide a regenerative internal environment for the tooth whilst fighting off the surface bacteria that cause dental plaques. Grey love - it does not have to be dangerous You may be surprised to know that sexually transmitted diseases are particularly prevalent in elderly populations. By embedding living biosensors into lubricant gels we will simplify the process of screening potential partners for sexually transmitted infections – as the gel will glow in the night on contact with organisms such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16