WHAT ARE WE WORKING ON ?
This year HUST-China focuses on the enrichment of rare earth elements. By designing and constructing the genetic circuits we can recycle the rare earth ions and purify waste water. Our final goal is to build a highly intelligent & efficient engineering circuit including specific peptides.
WHY WE FOCUS ON THIS ?
The rare-earth elements (REE) has aroused more and more public attention due to the roles it plays in different fields—permanent magnets, catalysts, rechargeable batteries and other high tech products. However, processes like mining, refining, and recycling of rare earth elements do serious harm to the environment if not properly managed. For instance, toxic acids are produced during the refining process and they are particular to be transfered into the general water supply. So we want to figure out a way through which we can not only enrich rare earth elements, but also be environmentally friendly. That’s why we turn to synthetic biology to solve the environmental problem.
HOW WE ACHIEVE OUR GOAL ?
Our system has been divided into sensing part and capture part. We use lanthanide binding peptide and surface display system to recycle rare earth ions. The sensing part is based on the PmrA-B-C system which is discovered from salmonella. We also take 2015 HUST-China project as reference to help us recollect our bacterial. Further explanation will be shown in the description part.
WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED ?
It was a memorable year that we recruited new team members in November 2016 and told the story of our project to the iGEMers all over the world in November 2017. iGEM was not only a litmus test that picked those who have a passion for synthetic biology, but also a window that gave us a chance to enjoy the charming scenery of synthetic biology. In the end, HUST-China won the Gold Medal with the efforts of all its team members.