Team:Paris Bettencourt/Brainstorming


Team IGEM Paris 2011

Brainstorming ideas

Before we decided to work on nanotubes, we had several other ideas. Some were very tempting, some were funny and some were just plain madness to implement. You can find below a few example of the project we discussed about along with a small description.


Today, we are looking for a less polluting alternative to standard plastic (coming from petrol chemistry). Therefore, the production of biological polymers seems to be a good solution from the environmental and economical point of view. We proposed to use yeast in order to synthetize a bio-polymer, chitin, using metabolic engineering.

Wastewater treatment and estrogens

Everyday, all around the world, millions of liters of wastewater from hospitals are discarded in the sewage treatments networks. It has been discovered that many estrogens or antibiotics end up there and could be found in our drinking water. Although these products are in low concentrations, it has been noticed modifications of the phenotypes of many fishes or the existence of multi resistant bacteria in water. We would have liked to engineer a fluidic system coupled with a synthetic organism that could have been able to degrade those molecules.

Thermometer bacteria

One of our simplest idea was to create an efficient thermometer in a cell. By thermometer we meant a bio-sensor or a combination of bio-sensor which could give us the temperature the cell felt. The goal would have been to have the broader detection span with the highest prossible precision. Several ideas for such sensors were discussed (proteins, DNA or RNA loops, etc.).

Freeze-dedecting molecules

Hidden ice on roads is quite dangerous, any driver will tell you that. We tried to think of a way to prevent this. One of our idea was to engineer a bacterial strain that could change quickly its color if its environment is about to freeze or too close to freezing conditions. This way roadworkers could dectect the areas which requires more attention when salting and limit pollution of the borders of the roads.

Climate changing bacteria

It has been recently discovered that some airborne bacteria could be responsible for precipitation initiation. We imagined that organisms carefully designed could be used to control climate in a small way. This would of course pose numerous ethical and technical problems, but working on how bacteria can initiate rain or snow in a cloud could be very interesting.