The purpose of our project is to increase the safety of our drinking water, to ensure the possibility of success we designed a system that cannot itself cause any harm. Our bacteria will be auxotrophic for trp-1 ensuring environmental integrity is maintained. The physical and biological manufacturing process for our device is environmentally sustainable, with the exception of current photovoltaic cell technology. We hope advances in photovoltaic technology or biological alternatives will make our device 100% environmentally friendly.
No unusual safety issues were encountered during our project due to an initial consideration of safety issues in our projects design. Our chassis will consist of dh5-alpha E. coli made auxotrophic to trp-1, and utilizing signalling parts from the iGEM Registry and the Lux cassette from V. fischeri. No pathogenic organism or virulent genes were used during the course of this experiment. The target molecules, i.e. napthalene and toluene, were not used for the proof of concept due to their negative environmental impacts. Instead, we used arabinose to test our system for the proof of concept due to its innocuous environmental impact.