Enlisting E. Scherichia Holmes: A modular whole-cell biosensor for the detection of environmental pollutants
Recalcitrant pollutants such as petroleum constituents and nitrates are regularly introduced to the environment through oil spills, natural geological seepage and eutrophication. The UN’s flagship water protection initiative enumerates a host of health risks associated with these chemicals. UT Dallas iGEM addresses the eminent need to mitigate their circulation by developing novel whole-cell biosensors that can detect alkanes, aromatics and nitrates and execute combinatorial logic, feedback and noise-reduction functions inspired by synthetic biology. This work has wide ranging applications requiring a cheap chemical sensor that can dynamically process heterogeneous inputs and express a user-friendly output.
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