USP-EEL-Brazil

Description: We started our project in the "Clube de Biologia Sintética EEL" (Synthetic Biology Club from Lorena Engineering School of the University of Sao Paulo), a place where many discussions come to place since 2014 and where a group of really dedicated students decided to take part in iGEM. This is our first year participating in iGEM competition and we plan on producing alkanes with a modified E. coli, resistant to fatty acids. We started our brainstorming for the project last year on September and on November we've decided that we would work with biodiesel, considering our campus infrastructure and research themes. From this, we looked for previous iGEM teams and articles and we wrote our project. It is based specially on Washington 2011 and LaVerne-Leos 2015 projects and the article "Synthesis of customized petroleum-replica fuel molecules by targeted modification of free fatty acid pools in Escherichia coli." (HOWARD, TP; 2013). Writing our project was essential for start looking for sponsors to pay for our team inscription on iGEM. We are focusing on the idea of a drop-in biodiesel that could fit to regular diesel combustion engine, without any of the corrosion or malfunctioning that the transesterified fuel normally causes. Our E. coli would be like a catalyst transforming plant oils that are already used for the production of biodiesel into a fuel with better qualities. Our plan is to use the lux operon (consisting on luxC, luxD and luxE) and aldehyde descarbonilase (NpAD) and enhance the resistance of the E. coli membrane to fatty acids using the tocopherol pathway. Thus, a large scale production of biodiesel with E. coli would be possible. Our team consists on engineering undergraduate students and industrial biotech graduate students. Besides the project, we are visiting schools and promoting ethical discussions with the public regarding biotechnology and synthetic biology and we plan on making these kinds of technology more reachable and popular.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16