User:Christine Doan/Notebook/Synthetic Biology/2014/03/01

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  • Make money into more money
  • Business plan
  • Translate prototype to the next step
  • Projects: Ryan's microfluidic, bioremediation
  • Blackstone LaunchPad: business model canvas assignment
    • Key partners
    • Activities
    • Resources
    • Value to the people
    • Customer relationships
    • Channels of communication


  • "Marketable Holy Grail": plant or bug that digests the plastic in cigarette butts
    • Problem of the average UCF student?
    • Clean Campus Initiative
  • Emerick [1]
    • Maintain Florida-wide
    • Marine biology approach
    • Keep it contained so it doesn't float over to Australia
    • Jesse: artificial estuary, mangroves
    • Corn and Wheat Belt runoff tributary to the Mississippi R. draining to the Gulf (dead zone)
    • Unfishable Feb-Oct
    • Ryan: affect evolution of the area, oil spill consequences, plants that absorb heavy metals
    • Governmental efforts in the southern US
      • Chemical removal of 7,000 lbs of nitrates from the water every year
      • 3rd party contractors hired by the Fed
      • NWFL project $25K
    • Environmental Microbiology (Safranek)
      • Systems biology / ecology
      • Programmers, engineers, marine biologists, hydrogeologists
      • Tangent on air pollutants in China, rivers,
    • Carcinogenic hydrocarbons, like benzene and toluene
    • Superfund sites (ex: $4 billion in Nebraska)
    • Look at successful models around these concepts
    • Estuaries where fish enter and host their hatcheries
    • Ryan: solving one problem, causing another problem?
      • Will just have to do it to find out
      • Consensus of the natural microbiota in the area
      • Supply more of a metabolic precursor
      • Removal of this returns it back to original natural environment
    • "Preventative remediation," "premediation"
      • how to keep a problem from happening
      • Chemical containers to replicate situations
      • Mutate site-specific microorganisms and selected based on their efficiency of using toxic material
      • Daniel: not doing anything to stop the problem, just treating it repeatedly, playing catch-up
      • Ryan: remove the organisms' evolvability, streamline genetic material, iff exposed to certain environmental conditions, go dormant, iff exposed to toxic environment, clean up, multiply and remediate (iff = if and only if)
    • Continuously replenished contaminants are by-products of industries and ignorance
    • Focus on sources of nitrates
    • New system of tanks positions at exit drains of monocrop farms, before they enter the water system
    • Daniel: enzymatic catalyst in a filter to convert it to something harmless
    • Large-scale industrial greenhouse (PubMed paper) contracted 3rd party clean-up company to clean nitrate drains before they entered groundwater, reaction tanks with varying concentrations of molasses used to feed organisms,
      • We could make reactive biochar tanks
      • Replace them because they'll get clogged
      • Sustainable
      • Flush through stages, dominant tank to reduce nitrogen, exchange bacteria, change conditions of the solution
      • Daniel: take out the life part of it entirely, figure out a chemical way, convert to nitrogen gas
    • Compare structure of cellulose and cellulose acetate
      • Use one of the wood degraders that has strong enzymatic powers
      • Jesse: needs to be a 2-step enzymatic process
      • Ryan: don't have to break it down, but convert into new compound that is usable
      • Release harmful products into the environment
      • Need to be a collection step
      • Ryan / Max: "Bioactive ashtray"
    • Natural bioreactor with fungi / mycelium filter
      • Funding
      • Daniel: fungi that likes heat, spread spores into naked soil, have them grow down to remove nitrates
      • Plants convert nitrates into ammonia for use, release
  • Max: "Orlando DIYbio"
    • We've been talking about very technical projects
    • RAISE: teaching students, getting them to work with their own microoganisms
    • Ryan: biochar is just DIYbio, not GMOs, can grow fungus, have biohazard pass through, teach people, self-evolving machine for removing pollutants
    • Emerick: charged tanks with natural microbiota from area, selecting for those that survive on high nitrate conditions
    • Ryan / Emerick: dissolved CO2 reacting with calcates raising the acidity of oceans, use like aquarium bubblers
    • Christine: like activated carbon in aquarium filters, they're already doing that, not used in natural bodies of water
    • Emerick: sounds like a large R&D project
    • Ryan: custom logic for specific pollutant to introduce
    • Daniel: DIYbio kit, people have fun while they're helping us
    • Emerick: crowdsource, high levels of nitrates, take a sample of dirt from backyard, send us back their results
    • Max: prototype biochar? Teach the average UCF student on a low budget
    • Daniel: hit the books, read up on which bacteria works the best, calculations
    • Emerick: primary literature, catch up on current affairs of bioremediation
    • Ryan: past iGEM projects, BioBricks
    • Max: need to prove we can do something, move on to a Kickstarter
    • Emerick: standardized / fixed level of contaminant, take from yard or pond,
    • Christine: plot out locations on a map around Orlando or America, see hubs of nitrates / DIYbio interest
    • Daniel: DNA with RFP promoter, TF for GFP, high nitrate = red, people like have glowing things, until it turns green = good level of nitrates
    • Ryan: previous iGEM project already used GFP/RFP nitrate biosensor, dual reporter with banana odor
    • Daniel: each person gets a mutant bacteria and standard, don't have to use millions of plates, sequence the ones that come back to us
    • Christine: also take sample from local area, compare to standard, wait a certain amount of time, certain nitrate threshold?
    • Emerick: already systems that do this in nature
    • Ryan: has to survive in the environment where its working, transgenic organisms
    • Daniel: 1) teaching DIYbio, 2) making money, 3) removing nitrates
    • Emerick: transgenic organisms need to be in a very controlled environment, otherwise won't survive in nature, use natural microbiota, already hardy enough to do their thing, two separate projects (biochar, DIY culture), bugs with reporter separate from bugs actually doing the nitrate breakdown


  • How to do things
  • Cheaply
  • FamiLAB
  • Range of products

1) workshop series, classes

2) Kickstarter has multiple reward tiers

  • Prototype DIYbio enzyme in a kit
  • Purpose?

1) Still helping decrease nitrate overload

2) Researching nitrate metabolism in microbiology and ecology

3) Involving and exciting the public about environmentalism and their role in sustainability

  • Find a better bug!