Team:University College London

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<div id="slidebox"><div id="bottle0"></div><div id="bottle1"></div><div id="bottle2"></div><div id="bottle3"></div><div id="slide1"><a id="label1">What are we doing, exactly?</a><a id="label2">Who are we?</a><a id="label3">Where is it located?</a><a id="label4">How are we going to achieve this?</a><a id="label5" href="http://www.plasticrepublic.org" target="_blank">Purchase Your Land Here</a>
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= New to iGEM? =
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==Welcome to the UCL entry for iGEM 2012.==
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iGEM – international Genetically Engineered Machine - is an international competition, to promote research into new uses of synthetic biology (glossary). Teams from Universities and High Schools from all over the world meet to compare research, and receive awards for success in particular categories.  
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<div id="newtoigembutton">[[Team:University_College_London/NewToIGEM|New to iGEM? Start our wiki tour here!]]</div>
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We are the 4th team from UCL to enter this competition, and we are hoping to build upon the success of previous teams. Like many iGEM teams, we come from diverse courses - computer science, biochemistry, medical sciences and biochemical engineering. We are also collaborating with student filmmakers and architects. The purpose of this wiki is to ‘show-off’ what this team has achieved. We realise iGEM wikis have a lot of content, so if you are new to iGEM you may find the following guide useful. 
 
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==Tour of the UCL 2012 Wiki==
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UCL iGEM proposes a synthetic biology approach for the bioremediation of micro-plastic pollutants within the marine environment, with emphasis on regions of excessive debris accumulation, such as the North Pacific ‘garbage patch’.  
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After the HOMEPAGE, the TEAM page is a good first-stop on the wiki. Visit here for an introduction to the team members and a better breakdown of their roles in the project.
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If you are ready to learn more about our scientific work, be sure to visit our RESEARCH page. Eventually, you will find all the details of our research here, but as this is a ‘work in progress’ we will briefly outline the concepts here. Our research goal is to construct an island from plastic waste. Essentially, by engineering bacteria to bind and aggregate plastic waste – which is found in huge abundance in many of the world’s oceans – we will be able to turn this waste into a valuable resource. Realistically, these plastic islands could be collected and re-cycled, but our team are also promoting the idea of a ‘Plastic Republic’ – a habitable island formed from the aggregated plastic waste.
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We intend to engineer enhanced adhesive properties in ''Escherichia coli'' and marine bacteria ''Roseobacter denitrifican'' and ''Oceanibulbus indolifex'', of the ''Roseobacter'' clade. To alter the composition and dynamics of resultant biofilms for the adhesion of micro-plastic pollutants, with an extended vision of creating mass aggregates, or ‘Plastic Islands’.
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As part of the RESEARCH, we generate both experimental and computational data. For the experimental data, the Biochemists, Engineers and Medical Scientists design the experiments, and all of the team members pitch in to produce the data. However, most iGEM teams also have a contingent of Computer Scientists (Erin, Joanne, Phillipp and Tom) who use software to model the unpredictable aspects of the project. We rely heavily on predictions made by this computational data, which guide the experimental science.
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We will attempt to demonstrate micro-plastic particle aggregation and several additional genetic components, including plastic degradation, salinity/osmotic tolerance in ''E. coli'', bacterial buoyancy and novel active biological containment strategies, for an integrative approach to marine bioremediation.
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A whole section of our wiki will be devoted to HUMAN PRACTICE, which is another key aspect of iGEM. Beyond the lab work and computer modelling, iGEMers go out into the community and demonstrate their research.  This is a vital to promote understanding of our research – to individuals who are not necessarily involved in science - and to gain valuable insight into how they perceive our research. This is usually a very interesting page as many teams, UCL 2012 included, chose controversial research projects that raise important questions.
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The NOTEBOOK page of our wiki documents, day-by-day, the above activities of our team members, or if you visit the ACHIEVEMENTS page of our wiki you will find a summary of our main RESEARCH and HUMAN PRACTICE successes.  
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'''''Update:''''' Read about Plastic Republic on <html><a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-07/18/nanobots-recycling-plastic" title="Article" target="_blank">Wired</a>, <a href="http://dvice.com/archives/2012/07/students-synthe.php" title="Article" target="_blank">DVICE</a></html> and <html><a href="http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/07/synthetic-bacteria-could-turn-ocean-garbage-into-one-big-island/" title="Article" target="_blank">Smithsonian</a></html>!
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Once you have navigated around this site, you should be comfortable touring other iGEM wikis also. If you have any questions about the content of our wiki, or iGEM in general, please contact rhiannon.wilkinson.09@ucl.ac.uk
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==Plastic Republic - Constructing An Island From Microplastic Waste==
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''Turning a Global Problem into a Valuable Resource: We Aim to Engineer Bacteria to Aggregate Tonnes of Microplastic Pollution into ‘Plastic Islands’, in order to Reclaim Plastic for Re-Use.''
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<html><div style="float:right"><a href="http://www.plasticrepublic.org" title="Plastic Republic - Land for Sale" target="_blank"><img src="http://2012.igem.org/wiki/images/c/c5/Ucl2012-landforsalebanner.jpg"  alt="Land For Sale" /></a></div></html>
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<html><iframe width="560" style="z-index:1" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/rEDLg03teOk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></html>
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[http://www.sponsume.com/project/plastic-republic Take a look at our fundraising video and become a supporter of our project!]
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After months of planning, we are now rallying to construct a ‘plastic island’ using the principles of synthetic biology. In so doing we hope to provide a solution to one of the world’s major environmental problems – the North Pacific Garbage Patch.
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The North Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of many garbage patches identified around the world.  The waste from these patches enters the digestive systems of resident organisms, which are affected either by the physical size of the plastic, or its toxicity from adsorbing organic pollutants.
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We saw the merits of using synthetic biology to overcome this problem, especially as conventional methods cannot target the majority of the waste - microplastics. By ‘synthesising’ a new strain of bacteria, capable of detecting, aggregating, and buoying these elusive microplastics, we aim to construct ‘Plastic Islands’ for
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#Removal and Re-use
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#Construction of a ‘Plastic Republic’
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Please visit our [[Team:University_College_London/Research|Research page]] for more background and details on the above, and our [[Team:University_College_London/HumanPractice|Human Practice page]] page for how we aim to encourage outside involvement in this project.
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== Maybe, we’ll see you on Plastic Republic for 2030. ==
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<div><br /> With thanks to our main sponsor: </div>
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<html><div align="center"><a href="http://www.engineering.ucl.ac.uk/" title="FacultyEng" target="_blank"><img src="http://2012.igem.org/wiki/images/f/f6/Ucl2012_sponsor_facultyeng.png" /></div></html>
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Latest revision as of 20:00, 26 September 2012

Welcome to the UCL entry for iGEM 2012.


UCL iGEM proposes a synthetic biology approach for the bioremediation of micro-plastic pollutants within the marine environment, with emphasis on regions of excessive debris accumulation, such as the North Pacific ‘garbage patch’.

We intend to engineer enhanced adhesive properties in Escherichia coli and marine bacteria Roseobacter denitrifican and Oceanibulbus indolifex, of the Roseobacter clade. To alter the composition and dynamics of resultant biofilms for the adhesion of micro-plastic pollutants, with an extended vision of creating mass aggregates, or ‘Plastic Islands’.

We will attempt to demonstrate micro-plastic particle aggregation and several additional genetic components, including plastic degradation, salinity/osmotic tolerance in E. coli, bacterial buoyancy and novel active biological containment strategies, for an integrative approach to marine bioremediation.

Update: Read about Plastic Republic on Wired, DVICE and Smithsonian!

Plastic Republic - Constructing An Island From Microplastic Waste

Turning a Global Problem into a Valuable Resource: We Aim to Engineer Bacteria to Aggregate Tonnes of Microplastic Pollution into ‘Plastic Islands’, in order to Reclaim Plastic for Re-Use.

Land For Sale


Take a look at our fundraising video and become a supporter of our project!

After months of planning, we are now rallying to construct a ‘plastic island’ using the principles of synthetic biology. In so doing we hope to provide a solution to one of the world’s major environmental problems – the North Pacific Garbage Patch.

The North Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of many garbage patches identified around the world. The waste from these patches enters the digestive systems of resident organisms, which are affected either by the physical size of the plastic, or its toxicity from adsorbing organic pollutants.

We saw the merits of using synthetic biology to overcome this problem, especially as conventional methods cannot target the majority of the waste - microplastics. By ‘synthesising’ a new strain of bacteria, capable of detecting, aggregating, and buoying these elusive microplastics, we aim to construct ‘Plastic Islands’ for

  1. Removal and Re-use
  2. Construction of a ‘Plastic Republic’

Please visit our Research page for more background and details on the above, and our Human Practice page page for how we aim to encourage outside involvement in this project.

Maybe, we’ll see you on Plastic Republic for 2030.


With thanks to our main sponsor: