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NUS are looking to fund large-scale two-year student-led sustainability
projects at student unions across England.
Published: May 23, 2013 4:43:59 PM
UCL iGEM 2012 team: Plastic Republic - Bioremediation of Marine Plastic Waste
It is in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that we are confronted with the real consequences of human plastic dependency: an immense mass of microplastic particles floating just beneath the surface of the North Pacific Ocean. Where attempts at physical removal and biodegradable plastics have failed to solve this pollution disaster, synthetic biology steps in. UCL’s project proposes the bioremediation of microplastic waste by two systems: degradation using a laccase enzyme or aggregation by controlled expression of curli. Ultimately we envisage the construction of habitable islands - turning waste into a resource. We used novel chassis: two marine bacteria, Oceanibulbus indoliflex and Roseobacter denitrificans . In line with considering the viability of our project, we questioned the access ordinary citizens should have to these tools. Initiating a new partnership, UCL teamed up with a group of ‘biohackers’ (citizen scientists in molecular biology) to create the world’s first ‘Public BioBrick’.