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HKUST iGEM Team 2017

Our Project

Numerous iGEM teams have designed biological devices that do not sufficiently emphasize their circuit safety measures or do not include adequate standardized safety switches. In order to address the safety and ethics associated with using synthetic biology, we wish to design a standardized safety measure in synthetic circuits, without compromising the function of the construct that was originally designed. Such a system has potential uses in both single and multicellular organisms, and for different applications - including but not limited to bioremediation, therapeutics and biosensors.


Our Design

In our design, we employ luxR gene that forms a transcriptionally active complex with 3OC6HSL to activate a downstream construct. Once activated, the desired functions of the circuit will initiate a "time bomb" that terminates this synthetic process.


Time Bomb

After a period of time (which varies depending on the application), termination of function will be accomplished by knocking out the genes of interest using Cre-lox and/or Dre-rox. As a result, the entire local population of genetically modified organisms can be reverted back to its wild-type phenotype, with or without getting exterminated to prevent sudden and drastic changes in the ecosystem.


Watch our video for a general understanding first !!!