With MercuLess our team aims to create a better world for all living creatures. We want to support equality, biodiversity and stable economies by providing us all with clean water, nutrition and habitats. Here is the impact MercuLess will have on the world and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
MercuLess is all about clean and safe water. Clean fresh water will become a scarce resource due to climate change and growing global population. Our goal is to provide access to more fresh water sources by purifying them from toxic mercury.
All life requires water. By purifying natural sources of water, we provide clean habitats for all species. Because methyl mercury accumulates in organisms, it disturbes ecosystems and decreases biodiversity. By providing clean water, MercuLess provides possibilities for all species to flourish.
The very heart of MercuLess is marshlands. By restoring ditched marshlands safely and not releasing methylmercury via flowing water, we create buffers against climate change. Marshlands are especially valuable natural sites for this purpose because they bind a third of all carbon although they cover only 3% of dry land area.
Our team put effort into spreading the word of synthetic biology. Our motto is that learning is a lifelong journey and we taught people of all ages about the possibilities of synthetic biology. By popularizing and adding knowledge about the basics of synthetic biology and how we can use it to solve local and global issues, we create more room for creating new solutions with the means of it.
Our host organism, the Synechocystis, is photoautotrophic, which means that it requires only light and carbon dioxide to function. Photoautotrophic organisms can be used in any sector of industry for affordable and clean sources of chemical energy.
Our aim with MercuLess is to free people to other duties instead of searching for clean and safe water for themselves and their family. When the source of water is secured for all, people have better possibilities to work and contribute to the economy despite their background.
With MercuLess we create possibilities for circular bioeconomy within communities. With MercuLess, industries, agriculture and restoration of nature can be joined to benefit all. Also with the knowledge gained from working with photoautotrophic organisms our team gives better means for any new innovations.
Throughout this project our team has done partnership with many other iGEM teams. In iGEM and in the synthetic biology community we aim to make the world a more sustainable place for all. By doing partnership with the other teams we build the community that drives these goals forward with a united force.
Since all three of the areas of sustainable development – the environmental, the social and the
economical – are bound together, by having an impact on the environment we would also have an impact on
the society and the economy. By ensuring ecological balances with MercuLess we create more stable
circumstances for sustainable food production and reduce the risk of inequality and crises. Also, when
people have a stable and secure source of water and nutrition they are able to contribute to the
economy. As the economy thrives, more resources can be put into creating better solutions for the
However, these three criteria of sustainable development are also dependent on each other and hence if we don’t have a positive impact in all of them, our idea will not thrive. Therefore, we want to have an impact on both our local and the global economy by offering an inexpensive way to restore nature. This allows people whose livelihoods are dependent on these resources such as fishers and berry pickers to continue their traditional profession safely without the fear of mercury.
Safe habitat, nutrition and reproduction for all species
Growth of biodiversity
Safe and clean water
Safe development of children
Contributors to the economy