ASU iGEM 2023: Beta-FluorinX

Making Arizona Water Safer

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We are currently facing a PFAS contamination crisis. These “forever chemicals” are everywhere-from the air we breathe to the water we drink. They're even in you and me.

PFAS causes a whole host of problems, ranging from increased cholesterol levels to an increased risk of cancer. Our health and the well-being of our world is at risk, so we need to find an efficient and cost-effective way of cleaning up all of this PFAS.

Enter Beta-FluorinX: the superhero bacterium capable of living solely off of PFAS chemicals.

To achieve this, we engineered E. coli to express both beta-oxidation and defluorination enzymes that would allow it to break PFAS down into harmless molecules.

Medal Requirements

Look out for Eli throughout the wiki to see which requirements have been met!

Bronze Medal

We fulfilled all of the medal criteria, as we have completed the following Competition Deliverables:

  1. Wiki: Our wiki is a complete representation of all of the trials and tribulations our team has experienced
    1. Attributions: We have accredited every person and/or Group that has helped contribute to our research efforts
    2. Description: Our project description serves as a comprehensive look at our project, as well as the rationale behind our decisions.
  2. Project Promotion Video: Our video is accessible and easy to understand, and it is geared towards a wider population.
  3. Judging Form: We filled out the judging form, and submitted it according to the guidelines.
However, we have not completed our judging session as of yet nor our project presentation videos because the deadlines have not arrived as of yet. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Jamboree!

Silver Medal

We fulfilled all Silver Medal Criteria:

  1. Engineering Success: On this page, we go through multiple nested engineering cycles. At the end of each, we consider how to change our approach to better understand the results.
  2. Human Practices: On this page, you can find our considerations for community engagement as well as concerns about the pressing issues presented from our investigations.

Gold Medal

For our medal, we contribute a new composite part that serves as a basis for both an accessible and easy KO plasmid design method.

Introducing: MiKOP, or Micro Knock Out Plasmid

This year, we have inadvertently produced a novel technique that is both more accessible and relatively simple to design and build with. However, it must be stressed that this KO technique only applies to genes that are directly downstream of promoter regions, as well as genes that are not polycistronically expressed with vital genes. The significance of this new technique is that it provides a more accessible and novel look at KO Plasmid design as well as genomic recombination as a whole. Attached below is a link to our part in the parts registry! MiKOP: Micro Knock Out Plasmid Composite Part

Best Integrated Human Practices

Our team's efforts extended beyond scientific research. We prioritized collaboration with both peers and experts, actively worked to raise PFAS contamination awareness, and consulted stakeholders to explore innovative applications to address the challenges posed by PFAS contamination. See more about our efforts

Best Sustainable Development Impact

We align our efforts with the UN's SDG Clean Water and Sanitation and Good Health and Well-being. In this project we harnessed the power of scientific innovation to tackle the global challenge of enhancing the overall health and well-being of individuals across the world through Bioremediation. See the full allignment

Meet our team!