Team:HFLS ZhejiangUnited/Description

Project Description

Formaldehyde, the simplest aldehyde of high reactivity and polymerizing stability, is widespread used in construction and decoration industries. Formaldehyde in glues and resins are then gradually, naturally and slowly released into the ambient environments by decades of years. The colorless but pungent gaseous formaldehyde brings different degrees of harmful symptoms to us humans, such as eye, throat and skin irritation, and even carcinogenicity. Since 1971, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has published a series of Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Human. In 2012, IARC formally listed formaldehyde as a member of the Group 1 of carcinogens, which means definitely carcinogenic to human.

We plan to construct a E. coli-based in vivo system for detecting and further degrading formaldehyde in environments. In fact, formaldehyde is such an ideal substance to work on in an iGEM project that several previous iGEM teams (like TMU-Tokyo in 2012, WHU-China in 2014 and Jilin_China in 2015) have been working repeatedly. The problems are: 1) the present sensing threshold of formaldehyde concentration (~ 10 ppm) is far upper beyond the environment-protecting standard (~ 0.1 ppm); 2) the degrading system seems to work instably, although some survival or duration after formaldehyde addition was observed.

As a high-school competitor, we do not expect to establish a de novo more effective system. We plan to make modifications based on current systems (already registered as BioBrick parts); if possible, we want to introduce new genes to improve the performance. At least some of the following goals will be achieved during our iGEM project: 1) more sensitive detectability, 2) more effective degradability, and the most important 3) invaluable experience of problem-solving and team-working.

  • HFLS Zhejiang United

    Schools: Peking University Experimental School(Jiaxing), Hangzhou Foreign Language School, etc.