Team:BYU Provo/Project


Team BYU Provo

BYU Provo


The Problem


The American Cancer Society has found that 1 in 20 Americans will have colorectal cancer. While current screening methods have led to a decrease in fatalities, the Society estimates another 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancers this year alone. As the disease progresses, it becomes harder to successfully treat, making early detection important. Regular non-invasive screening could save tens of thousands of lives each year in the United States alone.

A Bioengineered Solution?

The Doctor
We think that E. coli could be engineered using simple interchangeable parts to act as an effective biosensor for colorectal cancer.

Dual-Input 'AND' Gate

We learned from the literature that polyps in the colon and rectum frequently have higher temperatures and higher concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) than normal tissue. While either of these could potentially serve as an input to our biosensor, it is the elevation of both heat and ROS that makes polyps so unique in the human body. We have devised a simple molecular 'AND' gate such that only in the elevated presence of both inputs will our marker protein be translated.

Visit our Modeling Page for more detailed information on the AND gate and how it works.

The Simple Interchangeable Parts

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