One of the most valuable and finite natural resources on the planet is clean water. As the global temperature increases, fresh water supplies stored in glaciers and ice caps are melting. Climate change induced droughts in certain areas are causing lakes and rivers – bodies of water civilizations have depended on for millennia – to dry up. Industrial processes use fresh water as a coolant and deplete supplies of fresh water, or they result in water contamination by toxic metal ions when industrial waste is dumped or not stored properly. Because of the great number of threats to our planet’s drinking water supply, we, the Hunter College NYC iGEM team, have set out to engineer a biologically produced filtering molecule that would safely remove metal ions from contaminated water supplies in a single step, that is without the necessity to retrieve this filtering molecule from the water supply at a later point.
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