BioTech Without Borders
Our 2018 iGEM project focuses on one the most ancient of Earth’s inhabitants: the horseshoe crab. The horseshoe crab is a type of chelicerate arthropod and there are several known species, three of the most popular being the Japanese horseshoe crab, the Singapore species, and the Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). The horseshoe crab is a particularly relevant species due to their characteristic blue hemolymph, which contains the copper-yielding hemocyanin protein that is responsible for oxygen transportation and delivery in their bodies. In addition to being used as bait by fisherman and playing an important role in our ecosystem -- they are eaten by sea turtles and their eggs provide a good food source for various shorebird species -- for the last 5 decades their blood has also been harvested for pharmaceutical purposes. The crabs are used to perform the Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test, which is widely used for detection of bacterial endotoxins. The test relies on the horseshoe crab amebocytes’ ability to react with lipopolysaccharides (LPS), a component of negative-gram bacterial membranes, and while in contact initiate a protein cascade that ends with coagulation and cellular clotting to trap the bacteria. The amebocytes are able to do this because of the endotoxin-sensitive, intracellular, serine protease zymogen Limulus factor C. Factor C initiates the transduction pathway; in the presence of LPS, factor C selectively cleaves 103-Arg,104-Ser,105-Ile and 105-Ile to form Factor B. The active form of Factor B cleaves 98-Arg and 99-Ile in the horseshoe crab proclotting enzyme, thereby activating it.
All modern injectable medicines are required by the FDA to be tested for endotoxins and other harmful substances using LAL extracts from horseshoe crab blood. To prepare LAL, companies draw about one-third of an individual crab’s blood and release them back into the wild. Recent data shows that harvesting has contributed to an increase in the mortality rate of the species by as much as 30%, which not only poses a threat to their existence but also disrupts the ecological balance of the coast, affecting other species as well. We plan to create a recombinant limulus factor C in Pichia pastoris to minimize pharmaceuticals use of horseshoe crabs. We will do this by attaching a cellulose binding domain and GFP on a plasmid to...
Styling your wiki
You may style this page as you like or you can simply leave the style as it is. You can easily keep the styling and edit the content of these default wiki pages with your project information and completely fulfill the requirement to document your project.
While you may not win Best Wiki with this styling, your team is still eligible for all other awards. This default wiki meets the requirements, it improves navigability and ease of use for visitors, and you should not feel it is necessary to style beyond what has been provided.
Uploading pictures and files
You must upload any pictures and files to the iGEM 2018 server. Remember to keep all your pictures and files within your team's namespace or at least include your team's name in the file name.
When you upload, set the "Destination Filename" to T--YourOfficialTeamName--NameOfFile.jpg. (If you don't do this, someone else might upload a different file with the same "Destination Filename", and your file would be erased!)
Wiki template information
We have created these wiki template pages to help you get started and to help you think about how your team will be evaluated. You can find a list of all the pages tied to awards here at the Pages for awards link. You must edit these pages to be evaluated for medals and awards, but ultimately the design, layout, style and all other elements of your team wiki is up to you!
Editing your wiki
On this page you can document your project, introduce your team members, document your progress and share your iGEM experience with the rest of the world!
Use WikiTools - Edit in the black menu bar to edit this page
This wiki will be your team’s first interaction with the rest of the world, so here are a few tips to help you get started:
- State your accomplishments! Tell people what you have achieved from the start.
- Be clear about what you are doing and how you plan to do this.
- You have a global audience! Consider the different backgrounds that your users come from.
- Make sure information is easy to find; nothing should be more than 3 clicks away.
- Avoid using very small fonts and low contrast colors; information should be easy to read.
- Start documenting your project as early as possible; don’t leave anything to the last minute before the Wiki Freeze. For a complete list of deadlines visit the iGEM 2018 calendar
- Have lots of fun!