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iGEM UT-Tokyo aim to improve Escherichia coli's intrinsic hydrogen synthesis pathway by transgenics and to make Escherichia produce hydrogen more efficiently with a view of using it as an energy source.

From burning hydrogen, only water besides energy is produced. So, hydrogen is expected to be an environmentally-friendly energy source, replacing fossil fuels, which are seriously estimated to be exhausted in several hundred years. However, chemical methods of hydrogen synthesis have not been put to practical use, because of its high energy costs. Use of biological methods of hydrogen production should significantly reduce energy costs, as biological methods do not require extensive heating. E.coli has an ability to produce hydrogen from glucose, via an intrinsic metabolic pathway. Cultivating E.coli in a closed anaerobic system, hydrogen can be amassed from them. However, they produce too little hydrogen to use practically. We are trying to solve this problem by regulating the hydrogen consumption pathway and by enhancing the hydrogen synthetic pathway, for E.coli to produce more hydrogen.

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