UNL 2017

Helping reduce methane emissions from livestock


Tyler Barker –

Started the wet lab work in the beginning of the summer. Made the UNL iGEM website. Created the modeling, and helped with safety cases. Created all of the graphic designs, brochures, posters, t-shirts etc.

Nick Flaxbeard -

Did all nitrite reductase experiments. Completed the interlab study.

Jessica Harms -

Lab work, protein purification, created the bromoperoxidase part and facilitated research for the bromoperoxidase gene. Lived at the lab.

Nic Kite –

Head of the Project, created the nitrite reductase part and facilitated research for the nitrite reductase gene. Performed miscellaneous lab operations. Kicked off the idea for methane reduction in cattle. Analyzed survey results.

Alexis Krepps -

Contacted sponsors and managed social media.

Logan Uhlir -

Designed safety cases and the entire wiki.

Crystal Xu

Head of human of practices. Helped organize the survey. Idea source for human practice initiatives. Lab tagalong.

Danny Dooling -

Advising role.

Colton Harper -

Helped with project design and modeling.

Myra Cohen -

Advising role. Helped with safety cases and allocated funds for the project.

Cheryl Immethun -

Advising role and helped with project design.

Massimiliano Pierobon -

Advising role and information on modeling

Dr. Jiantao Guo’s Lab

Jiantao Guo -

Advising role, allowed for use of instruments in his lab and helped with project design and implementation.

Jaroslaw A. Pankowski -

Advising role. Helped with experiments in the wetlab.

Erome Hankore -

Advising role. Helped with experiments in the wetlab.

Justin Lawrie -

Taught team protein purification and assisted in part characterization methods.

Dr. Wei Niu’s Lab

Wei Niu -

Advising role, allowed for use of instruments in lab and helped with project design and implementation.

DJ -

Helped us perform wet lab experiments.

Yilan -

Helped us perform wet lab experiments

Levi Kramer -

Helped us perform wet lab experiments.

Community Assistance

  • Doc Chaves - Director of Corporate Communications: Licor Biosciences - Provided advice on our project and presentation.
  • Sarah Feit - Volunteer Coordinator at UNL State Museum - Helped coordinate our volunteer work at Morrill Hall.
  • Andrew Uden - Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder at Quantified Ag - Provided feedback on our project.
  • Jessie Hermann - Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs for Nebraska Cattlemen - Representative from Nebraska Cattlemen that provided feedback on our project.
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Provided monetary support (UCARE).
  • Annie Wood - Design Specialist for UNL College of Engineering - Created brochures to send to companies.
  • Sponsor Companies - (Seen at bottom of page) - Free material and monetary support.
  • UNL Software Engineering Lab - Provided us with a space to hold meetings and work on our project.

Expert Consultations

  • Dr. Fernando - Assistant Professor for Nutritional Biochemistry at UNL - Provided information on our project idea.
  • Professor Stephen Baenziger - Professor and Wheat Growers Presidential Chair at UNL - Provided information on the ethical implications of our project.
  • Dr. Rebecca Roston - Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at UNL - Provided assistance on our project idea.
  • Arpi Siyahian - Technology Manager at NUtech Ventures - Provided information about patent law and possibly patenting our project.
  • UNL Stats Help Desk - Helped us organize our results from the survey.
  • UNL Animal Science Department - Provided priceless feedback and allowed us to visit their feedlot.

Cited Papers

  • T. Kelly, R. Weaver, The goal structuring notation–a safety argument notation. Proceedings of Dependable Systems Networks, Workshop on Assurance Cases, 2004
  • M. B. Cohen, J. Firestone, M. Pierobon, The Assurance Timeline: Building Assurance Cases for Synthetic Biology, International Workshop on Assurance Cases for Software-intensive Systems (ASSURE), to appear, September, pp. 75-86, 2016.
  • (2017, April 14) Overview of Greenhouse Gases. EPA. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Asanuma, N., Yokoyama, S., and Hino, T. (2014) Effects of nitrate addition to a diet on fermentation and microbial populations in the rumen of goats, with special reference to Selenomonas ruminantium having the ability to reduce nitrate and nitrite. Animal Science Journal 86, 378–384.
  • Hoynes-Oconnor, A., Hinman, K., Kirchner, L., and Moon, T. S. (2015) De novo design of heat-repressible RNA thermosensors in E. coli. Nucleic Acids Research 43, 6166–6179.
  • Itoh, N., and Shinya, M. (1994) Seasonal evolution of bromomethanes from coralline algae (Corallinaceae) and its effect on atmospheric ozone. Marine Chemistry 45, 95–103.
  • Johnson, D. E., and Ward, G. M. (1996) Estimates of animal methane emissions. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 42.
  • Janssen, P. H., and Kirs, M. (2008) Structure of the Archaeal Community of the Rumen. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74, 3619–3625.
  • Kinley, R. D., and Fredeen, A. H. (2014) In vitro evaluation of feeding North Atlantic storm toss seaweeds on ruminal digestion. Journal of Applied Phycology 27, 2387–2393.
  • Ogilvie, A. E. J. (2010) The iceberg in the mist: northern research in pursuit of a "Little Ice Age". Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht.
  • Anzaldi, L. L., and Skaar, E. P. (2010) Overcoming the Heme Paradox: Heme Toxicity and Tolerance in Bacterial Pathogens. Infection and Immunity 78, 4977–4989.
  • Bremer, H., and Dennis, P. P. (2008) Modulation of Chemical Composition and Other Parameters of the Cell at Different Exponential Growth Rates. EcoSal Plus 3.
  • Einsle, O., and Kroneck, P. (2007) Cytochrome c Nitrite Reductase from Wolinella succinogenes with bound substrate nitrite.
  • Hagen, S. J., Hofrichter, J., and Eaton, W. A. (1997) Rate of Intrachain Diffusion of Unfolded Cytochromec. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 101, 2352–2365.
  • Janecky, L. R. (2013) Quantification of protein half-lives in the budding yeast proteome. Front Cell Infect Microbiol 3.
  • Kubitschek, H. E. (1990) Cell volume increase in Escherichia coli after shifts to richer media. Journal of Bacteriology 172, 94–101.
  • Liu, Y., and Montellano, P. R. O. D. (2000) Reaction Intermediates and Single Turnover Rate Constants for the Oxidation of Heme by Human Heme Oxygenase-1. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275, 5297–5307.
  • Runyen-Janecky, L. J. (2013) Role and regulation of heme iron acquisition in gram-negative pathogens. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 3.
  • Vogel, U., and Jensen, K. F. (1994) The RNA chain elongation rate in Escherichia coli depends on the growth rate. Journal of Bacteriology 176, 2807–2813.
  • Attwood, G., and McSweeney, C. (2008) Methanogen genomics to discover targets for methane mitigation technologies and options for alternative H2 utilisation in the rumen. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 48, 28–37.
  • Drewnoski, M., Beitz, D C., Loy, D. D., Hansen, S. L., and Ensley, S. M. (2011) "Factors Affecting Ruminal Hydrogen Sulfide Concentration of Cattle," Animal Industry Report: AS 657, ASL R2587.
  • Duval, S., and Kindermann, M. (2012, June 28) Use of nitrooxy organic molecules in feed for reducing methane emission in ruminants, and/or to improve ruminant performance. Patent No. WO 2012084629 A1
  • Romero-Pérez, A., Okine, E., Guan, L., Duval, S. M., Kindermann, M., and Beauchemin, K. A. (2016) Effects of 3-nitrooxypropanol and monensin on methane production using a forage-based diet in Rusitec fermenters. Animal Feed Science and Technology 220, 67–72.
  • Satyanagalakshmi, K., Sridhar, G. T., and Sirohi, S. K. (2015) An overview of the role of rumen methanogens in methane emission and its reduction strategies. African Journal of Biotechnology 14, 1427–1438.
  • Yang, C., Rooke, J. A., Cabeza, I., and Wallace, R. J. (2016) Nitrate and Inhibition of Ruminal Methanogenesis: Microbial Ecology, Obstacles, and Opportunities for Lowering Methane Emissions from Ruminant Livestock. Frontiers in Microbiology 7.
  • Simon, J. C. B. (2002) Enzymology and bioenergetics of respiratory nitrite ammonification. FEMS Microbiology Reviews 26, 285–309.

Thanks to Our Sponsors