Detection of allergens in food
- the presence of certain alergen promote the expression of GFP.
- must be fast reaction. ie. detection on the spot.
- cell-free medium and can be stored in bottles under normal condition.
- variable resistors, capaceitors, a catalog of resistors ...
- setup a basic ALU(arithmetic logic unit), from pre-designed gates
- biological clock; counts up in seconds or minutes (not countdown like peking07-hopcount), something similar but not elegant enough has been done by Harvard2006
- Bacterial cells to assist in production of things like biofuels/fertilisers/etc.
- Cheap and easy production of pharmaceuticals.
In vivo sensors and actuators
Bacteria have remarkable abilities to sense, process and actuate. These attributes of bacteria are potentially useful in designing and fabricating them for therapeutic purposes. One good example is here.  In his quest to build tumor killing bacteria, he articulated some steps useful for building synthetic biological systems. 1) Define spatial and temporal environments that the bacteria encounter. 2) Identify processes that satisfy the environmental constraints and promote environmental progression. 3) Identify modules that satisfy these requirements. 4) Build a minimal system from parts. 5) If required, go back to 2), re-build and add complexity.
Of course, unless the chassis has no system that are already running, the systems that are being built here are done in the existence of a host system, which perform 1) DNA replication 2) Transcription 3) Translation 4) DNA repair 5) Protein enzymatic functions 6) Protein non-enzymatic functions 7) Protein degradation 8) Cell division 9) Metabolism for energy
The above applies to the construction of synthetic system using plasmids, which is what we will likely use. Some potential problems with this approach is cross-talk of newly built system with the host system. The concept of orthogonality  should be understood here because it can be useful to avoid cross-talk.