Virginia

Description: Our team split into three small groups in March and each proposed a refined project idea. Our other ideas included lysin synthesis to treat acne and the development of a bamboo chassis to combat air pollution. After much heated debate and further research into project feasibility, we chose to focus our research on biocontainment. We wanted to use a large-scale approach to improve the field of synthetic biology. By developing a reliable biocontrol standard, we aim to promote practical, safe implementation of biological devices. Project Description The field of synthetic biology currently struggles with the issue of containment both in laboratory settings and real-world environments. This shortcoming prevents the widespread implementation of useful engineered devices and calls for a cellular-based containment system that can operate in an open environment and provide security comparable to physical containment. Although several biological methods currently exist for containment, these methods allow some degree of genetic escape through horizontal gene transfer, spontaneous mutagenesis, or utilization of environmentally available compounds (1). The Virginia iGEM team proposes to use the CRISPR/Cas9 system to redesign leucyl-tRNA synthetase to confer metabolic dependence on modified leucine in Escherichia coli. Our goal is to create the foundation for a reliable, standardized, and universally applicable biocontainment system.1. Mandell, Daniel J., Marc J. Lajoie, Michael T. Mee, Ryo Takeuchi, Gleb Kuznetsov, Julie E. Norville, Christopher J. Gregg, Barry L. Stoddard, and George M. Church. "Corrigendum: Biocontainment of Genetically Modified Organisms by Synthetic Protein Design." Nature 527.7577 (2015): 264. Web.
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Year: 2016Visit Wiki
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Updated at: 8/9/16