Halorhodopsin, a light-driven ion pump originated from Halobacterium, employs light to transport chloride ions into cells uni-directionally against concentration gradient. Since chloride ion is a ubiquitous and essential element in most biological systems, halorhodopsin has the fascinating property to transform solar energy, the most abundant energy in the world, into intracellular chloride ion level. However, this specificity of halorhodopsin has not been well characterized and regulated in previous competition. It is of our great interest to characterize its properties, and eventually utilize them in our project, seeking the possibilities to benefit synthetic biology and the human society.
In our project, we integrated halorhodopsin into functional biobricks. Based on the characterized properties of halorhodopsin, we have furthermore developed and implemented two innovative applications: Light-coupled computer-aided expression platform and entropy-mixing electricity generation. The exciting results show us the power and the potential of this fascinating tool. We are glad to introduce our achievements in the project session.
Besides the proof-of-concept designs in our projects, any design with the linkage of light and chloride ions can be accomplished by this tool. Thus, there are much more potential applications. We believe that halorhodopsin would be an exciting and useful biobrick in the near future.
"Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." - Theodore Levitt
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