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CUHK Genetic Engineering Team Wins Gold

A genetic engineering team formed by 10 CUHK undergraduate students of science and engineering participated in the international Genetic Engineered Machine (iGEM) 2014 Giant Jamboree held in Boston from 30 October to 3 November. They competed with 243 teams with close to 3,000 students and walked away with a gold medal.

The winning project of the CUHK team was named ABCDE (AzotoBacter vinelandii Cluster-transformable & Deoxygenated protein Expression system). Azotobacter vinelandii is a bacterium that naturally exists in soil. By mutating its gene, the CUHK team developed an intracellular anaerobic protein expression system, in which different oxygen sensitive proteins or enzymes are able to function. By adding remodelled nitrogenase and hydrogenase, the bacteria can covert carbon dioxide into methane and other carbon compounds in a natural aerobic environment.

Methane can be used as a biofuel, thus the conversion may help to solve both environmental and energy problems. By adding different enzymes, the protein expression system has many other potential applications, such as manufacturing a biobattery or a nanomagnet.

For details, please click here.


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