We will light your way


Why cyanobacteria?

The aim of this year’s University of Copenhagen iGEM team is to produce a sustainable light source based on genetically engineered cyanobacteria. Everywhere in the modern world we use light – not only in the day-time but also extensively during the night. In big cities, we enjoy the majestic view of a lit up facade of a building, and companies call attention to their product by a commercial neon sign. Evidently, the use of electrical light in these settings has many purposes – which we can enjoy and take advantage of. Unfortunately, electrical light is not for free – it affects our budgets as well as the environment. Our eager use contributes to the drainage of the earth’s fuel reserves and to the emission of CO2, which enforces global warming. Therefore, if we want to keep the privileges that light emission gives us, we need to come up with some new solutions that do not harm our planet. The University of Copenhagen iGEM team has therefore come up with the idea of using biologically produced light – so-called bioluminescence – by genetically engineering cyanobacteria. By using a dark induced promotor the cyanobacteria will become bioluminous and emit light, only when it is dark. This way, we aim to create CyanoDelux - a sustainable light source that can be used during night! Read more.

Mathematical models

We have had the greatest opportunity to have Thomas on our team this year and he have been sort of a magician, when it comes to numbers and equations. We know he have spend an awful lot of time on the modelling of our project and for that we owe him thanks. We would like to show you what he single handed has pulled out of the black hat. He have done the modelling in Matlab.See modelling page.

Theory of USER Cloning and Results

We successfully amplified all our target genes containing the wanted USER ends. We have not been able to assemble our construct using USER cloning so only a few separate parts have been submitted. See our results.

Impact factors:

Our project aims to create a regulated light-producing BioBrick and thus add it to the partsregistry of BioBricks, a continuously growing collection of genetic parts that can be mixed and matched to build synthetic biology devices and systems ( ). Hence our project contributes to the expansion of the partsregistry, benefitting all researchers with interest in bioluminescence in cyanobacterias. The partsregistry is founded on an open source philosophy, a philosophy we see as a great advantage for development and improvement of the number BioBricks already existing. The addition of our BioBrick to this catalogue will perhaps encourage other groups to look at other aspects of the many functions of cyanobacterias and thus contribute to the formation of new biological systems further expanding the field of synthetic biology.

Comments or questions to the team? Please mail us at