What would it take to make bacteria produce an electrical circuit? One of the most exciting uses for synthetic biology is in the design of biological systems that can replace and improve industrial processes. By achieving industrial goals using biological processes, we predict dramatic reductions in economic and environmental manufacturing costs. Our project is a first step towards biologically synthesized electronic circuits. Based on precedence of naturally redox-capable bacteria, we generated a system in E. coli that reduces metal in solution. Depending on the application, this system has the ability to form a conductive copper sulfide that can be localized with high precision. In the future our bacteria could catalyze metal deposition to form electrical circuits of any desired dimension and complexity.
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A first year entrant to the iGEM competition, our team is comprised of students from a wide range of backgrounds connected by a common passion for synthetic biology and its applications. After much brainstorming and many wetlab sessions, our team has succeeded in developing a genomic platform for bacterial circuit construction. >> read more about our team