Team:BIOSINT Mexico


This project aims to develop an organic genetically modified machine that have the capacity to function as a biosensor. This biosensor will be useful in biotechnological and research processes. Thanks to Synthetic Biology techniques, it is possible to create a microorganism with the ability to percieve luminescent stimuli in order to visually reproduce them through chromoproteins production. Since it is a modular project, it is very likely to adapt it with the main goal, which is to have the capacity to respond to other stimuli, as pollution agents and other chemicals.

Since the light receptors and the corresponding transcription factors are not a natural part of the Escherichia coli’s genome, it is necessary to synthesize them with constitutive promoters in order to have them all the time included in its normal replication and transcription process. These receptors are specifically blue and red light receptors, and both of them phosphorylate the corresponding transcription factors in darkness or absence of light. As the receptors sense, not the light, but the absence of it, we have design our devices to inhibit the production of the chromoproteins of the respective colors. In a few words, if blue light it is not iluminating the culture, the production of pink proteins starts, and if there isn't red light, the production of yellow proteins starts as well.

The expected results are the following:

  • Presence of darkness or any other color: Yellow and pink chromoproteins production (pastel orangish color).
  • Presence of red light: Stop of the pink chromoproteins production.
  • Presence of blue light: Stop of the yellow chromoproteins production.
  • Presence of blue and red light: Stop of pink and yellow chromoproteins.

  • After the construction of the plasmids and the proper assembly in lab, it will be necessary to create a light canon. This light canon should be small enough so it can fit properly into an incubator. Also, it should have the feature of a objective turret-like section so it can has the capacity of change de color light that projects over the culture. This with the purpose of confirm that the cells are doing what they are supposed to.

    The future of this project is that other iGEM teams, with the use of synthetic biology, could use the present project as a base or guide to make other kinds of receptors, such as pollulants, toxic chemicals, among others. The objective is to have in registration a very functional biosensor capable of sensing different things simultaneously.

    Video: Artists from Queretaro on Science and Art

    Why Art?

    Here, at Team BIOSINT México, we believe that science must be a common good, which is beneficial to every human being and useful for the development of the society and the accomplishment of the greater good.

    And, as a common good, science should be free and accessible for all the community, and in order to achieve this state, we should take actions that are directed towards socializing the knowledge with the public.

    As our actions, and those of the SynBio community, should not have as a goal the public recognition neither the economical reward, they should be considered a form of art.

    We consider that the easiest way for the public to acknowledge the current development of the scientific research, specially regarding the field of Synthetic Biology, is by the participation and socialization of this topics in a way that results comprehensible and easy to recognize and understand for the general public.

    Therefore, art and its capacity to transcend the time and space, and the universal meaning it has, turn out to be the best possible way to share the knowledge in a meaningful, fun and effective way.

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