User:Rotter

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Registration/Questionnaire: 20.109 Fall 2007

  • Last Name: Rotter
  • First Name: Juliana
  • Preferred Name: Juliana
  • Course: 20 Minor: 15
  • Class Year: 2009
  • Phone number: 415.596.5469
  • e-mail address: rotter at mit dot edu

Have you taken

  • 7.05/5.07 (Biochemistry) Yes
  • 7.06 (Cell Biology) Currently enrolled
  • 7.02 (General Biology Lab) No
  • 5.310 (General Chemistry Lab) No

Research Experience

  • Do you have any experience culturing cells (mammalian, yeast or microbial)? Limited
  • Do you have any experience in molecular biology (electrophoresis, PCR, etc)? Yes
  • Please briefly describe any previous laboratory experience: My high school biology lab included molecular biology experiments like electrophoresis and PCR. My favorite lab was sequencing my mitochondrial DNA. Freshman year, I worked in the Edelman lab harvesting and purifying protein. Although I do not remember as much information from these experiences as I should, I assume that background will help if only a little bit.
  • Anything else you would like us to know?

Engineering Ideas

I Tag with GFP to chart cell growth and modify to assemble a longer M13 with more VIII expression for a better wire.
II Replicate more VIII to create a better wire. Potentially create a second copy of VIII for increased coat protein production.
III Modify to bond with VII.
IV See I.
V Tag with GFP to understand function better.
VI Modify to bond with IX.
VII Modify to bond with III.
VIII Modify to bond with iron. III and VII will bind to create a living wire capable of conduction electricity.
IX Modify to bond with VI.
X See II.
XI See I.
*This will create a living wire capable of conducting electricity.
*Another idea is to create a bacteriophage that the human body will accept whose outter proteins can mimic hormones that stimulate cell death and inject them into a tumor. Insure that cell death is extremely controlled else somatic healthy cells will die.

Research Proposal

Proposed Project: Engineer bacteria to effectively desalinate water.

Bacteria harvested from salt mines in China were isolated and studied. Researchers could study these bacteria in depth, searching for qualities making them appropriate candidates for desalinizing water. Also, bacteria harvested from the cleanest lake in the world (Lake Vostok, Russia) may be effective in producing clean water. In 2008, researchers are expected to begin extensive studies on it. There are currently 12 500 desalinization plants operating in 120 countries providing 3.5 billion gallons of water every day satisfying only 1% of global demand. While reverse osmosis has been the most effective method, there is one issue: the briny discharge. If we could engineer bacteria to use the salts to survive, we could eliminate that pollution.

Resources: [Culturable bacterial diversity of the ancient salt deposits in the Kunming Salt Mine, P. R. China], Prokaryotic microbial diversity of the ancient salt deposits in the Kunming Salt Mine, P.R. China, New England BioLabs, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Resources

Proposed Project: Engineer existing bacteria to effectively desalinate water.

The vast majority of water on Earth is saltwater, with only 3% being freshwater, or potable water. Saltwater is defined as have 30 - 50 ppt of dissolved salts, whereas freshwater has less than 0.5 ppt. There exist many techniques to produce desalinated water, including evaporation, distillation, reverse or forward osmosis and electrodialysis reversal. There are currently 12,500 desalinization plants operating in 120 countries providing 3.5 billion gallons of water every day satisfying only 1% of global demand. In addition, all of these processes are both expensive and bulky. Reverse osmosis is considered the most effective method today; however, there are two issues: the briny discharge and the cost. Reverse osmosis is too expensive for developing areas to use as a desalination method. If we could engineer bacteria to use the salts to survive, we could eliminate that pollution as well as drastically reduce the cost of desalination.

Bacteria harvested from salt mines in China were isolated and studied. Researchers could study these bacteria in depth, searching for qualities making them appropriate candidates for desalinizing water. Also, bacteria harvested from the cleanest lake in the world (Lake Vostok, Russia) may be effective in producing clean water. In 2008, researchers are expected to begin extensive studies on it.

Our project will start with bacteria that can thrive in saltwater and possibly have natural desalination properties. We will work to identify the mechanisms in the desalination process and increase them by mutating, screening and selecting for the most effectively desalinating bacteria. Lastly, we will engineer a small, portable system that will take in saltwater and output freshwater. Removal of bacteria from the freshwater could be accomplished with a filtering system, UV radiation or lysis agents.

This would produce a method of desalination useful for any agency or population that needs freshwater but only has access to saltwater. Besides coastal communities, this also includes naval ships and submarines and civilian ships. The goal of our project is to increase the amount of available water in the world in an energy-efficient, cost-effective and green way.

Resources:

[Culturable bacterial diversity of the ancient salt deposits in the Kunming Salt Mine, P. R. China], Prokaryotic microbial diversity of the ancient salt deposits in the Kunming Salt Mine, P.R. China, New England BioLabs, Zuckerberg Institute for Water Resources

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