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NRP UEA iGEM Team 2012 Project Outline

The iGEM 2012 team for the Norwich Research Park and University of East Anglia (NRP UEA) are a group of seven biology-based undergraduate students working in the labs within UEA’s BIO building. We have been looking at the role of nitric oxide (NO) in biological systems and are aiming to produce a BioBrick that can sense NO within an environment, report on the levels, and go on to make relevant and desirable changes.

Possible applications we see for this include; cancer therapeutics, where NO levels are detected and raised above the level at which it aids angiogenesis and into the levels at which it is toxic to a tumour; and environmental aspects, where the bio-sensor may be attached to bioluminescence in order to report levels of NO in soil for instance.

Our first BioBrick will be a hybrid bacterial and mammalian promoter (using PYEAR and NS2E9 elements) which will detect NO levels. We aim to use a chassis of E. coli in order to test our BioBrick before investigating its competency within a Salmonella chassis for future applications within a medical system. We also aim to characterise BioBricks produced by previous iGEM teams, especially those involved with sensing physiologically-relevant molecules and reporting with fluorescence or bioluminescence.

We have also looked at various aspects of human outreach and plan to undertake a programme of Synthetic Biology public awareness as well as employing various methods to make our project accessible to those interested outside of the team.

Team NRP-UEA-Norwich

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