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KULeuven iGEM 2011



Our team engineered a bacterium that can perform 2 different functions; depending on the stimulus used, it will either induce ice crystallization or inhibit ice formation.

To stimulate ice formation, we will let our bacterium produce Ice Nucleating Proteins (INP), which stimulate the formation of ice crystals. These bacteria could be used in lakes to make the ice stronger, so maybe in future, we can once again have a "11-stedentocht" in the Netherlands. You could use this property as well for the creation of fluorescent ice on ski-slopes or for trendy cocktails with glowing ice cubes in it. Also, it would decrease ice-melting of glaciers, thereby effectively slowing global warming. An application on smaller level, is the incorporation of E.D. Frosti in the cooling system of an ice rink. In that way, ice formation can be induced at elevated temperatures (approximately -5°C instead of app. -23°C).

The second function of E.D. Frosti is the anti-freeze function by the production of Anti Freeze Proteins (AFP). These bacteria could then be used as an anti-freeze biofilm on the roads, which would help the roads become free of ice and snow in winters. Also other applications which involve ice melting could benefit from our bacterium.

Newsflash: E.D. Frosti managed to unfreeze our Wiki! Boston here we come!
Edit: Although E.D. Frosti enabled us to modify our wiki during one month, our time is running out...