Design of microorganisms capable of identifying buried explosives advancing
Once these microorganisms detect molecules which buried explosives exude they will activate specific pheromones so moths can show the possible site of a landmine.Bogotá D. C., 15 de julio de 2016 — Agencia de Noticias UN-
They have created bacteria capable of producing patterns which simulate the effect of a photo to a light stimulus.
“The modified microorganism will be instilled in a stick type device which will protect it from the environment and avoid release,” said members of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Synthetic Biology student group comprised by students of the Sciences, Engineering and Medicine faculties.
With this project they called Landminator, the group was an entry to the first Latin-American Synthetic Biology Contest organized by the Universidad de Buenos Aires. This event hopes to turn into a new scenario to congregate most recent potentially disruptive technologies (synthetic biology, robotics, nanotechnology and 3-D printing) and speed up the capability of producing prototypes which may be applied to relevant community issues.
Representatives of several universities of Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina will also participate in the event.
The work group was created by an initiative and summons of the Department of Chemical Engineering Biological Processes Thermodynamics Study Group in June of last year with the purpose of creating an opportunity for inquiry, learning and academic discussion around this scientific discipline. Furthermore through several activities try to awaken the interest of the student community on the importance, applicability and the technological challenges posed by this area of science.
“Since June of last year we have had regular academic meetings. We have studied and discussed research articles related to our area of interest. We have carried out seminar-workshops inviting students or allowed open attendance of students or the general public. Additionally we have tried to respond to questions related to this discipline,” said group coordinator Juan Carlos Riveros Medina.
What is synthetic biology?
Generally speaking it may be defined as the design and synthesis of biological systems and components which do not exist naturally, as well as techniques which enable to introduce modifications in the designs of existent biological systems.
Therefore this is how science has produced microorganisms which create patterns which mimic the effect of a photo to a light stimulus, bacteria that smell like vanilla or bananas according to their developmental stage or biosensors which change color if they detect contaminating molecules.
“Synthetic biology is a discipline with strong engineering basics. There is a resolute focus on the probabilities of escalating, maximizing and making this technology functional which in the future will have great potential to produce commercial solutions in a great variety of industries. This new engineering projection is a biotechnological advancement and goes beyond microorganism genetic manipulation,” said Riveros.(Por: Fin/GDT/DMH/APBL