About This Project
Commercially produced sunscreen contains chemical compounds such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are extremely toxic to the environment. Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids (MAAs) are alternative candidates to current synthetic UV filters. We hypothesize that by cloning two types of MAAs into yeast, we can program yeast to produce eco-friendly compounds that can be used for environmentally friendly sunscreen.
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What is the context of this research?
Our team decided to use Mycosporine-Like Amino Acids as alternative candidates to current synthetic UV filters. MAAs are small, water-soluble, colorless molecules produced by a variety of marine organisms, including cyanobacteria, fungi, microalgae, and macroalgae.
Two types of MAAs, Shinorine and Porphyra-334, have relatively high UV-absorption which covers UV-A and UV-B wavelengths. Together, these compounds can be not only very useful ingredients in sunscreens and other creams but also harmless for marine life as they are protection mechanism of microorganisms. They work not only as sunscreen but also are able to protect skin from photoaging, have the anti-inflammatory effect, antioxidant activity and even could be considered as anti-cancer agents.
What is the significance of this project?
The use of sunscreens is very highly recommended because it prevents us from harmful UV lights by inhibiting photo-aging and DNA damage of the skin.
Nowadays, one of the global ecological problems is coral bleaching which is caused by modern sunscreen compounds such as octinoxate and oxybenzone. These compounds are very toxic to marine life and along with coral bleaching they can also lead to gender shift in fishes.
Traces of sunscreen compounds are washed deep into the seas and oceans, they can be found even in Arctic waters.
What are the goals of the project?
Our team is trying to produce MAA-s in yeast, using the genes from two different species.
To obtain two natural UV-screening compounds, Shinorine and Porphyra 334, We are going to use eight genes from two different organisms, cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme and Actinobacterium Actinosynnema mirum, respectively.
Our team has decided to synthesize MAAs in S. cerevisiae, since yeast cultures have some important advantages over prokaryotic ones. Our short-term goal is to introduce genes in the yeast genome and establish a concentration of obtained MAAs. Our long-term goal is to combine positive properties of both biological sunscreen compounds and yeast extract which could be further used in cosmetic products like creams, lotions, etc.
Funds raised will be used for the presentation of our project during Giant Jamboree 2018 in Boston. We need one more presenter at Giant Jamboree but we don't have funds for him/her.
Late registration for one person to Giant Jamboree is 800$. Our journey to Boston is long: a bus from Tartu to Tallinn, a transit flight Tallinn - Helsinki - New York - Boston.
Our main funding source is Estonian Center for Synthetic Biology and the Institute of Technology.
Lab work started at the beginning of June 2018. We began by designing primers and vectors. Until August we were doing BioBricks. In parallel, we also created a video for our project. We are currently creating a wiki page. The creation of the wiki page and our work in the laboratory will be finished in October.
Jun 04, 2018
Jun 11, 2018
Primers and vectors design
Jun 27, 2018
First PCR for BioBricks
Aug 21, 2018
Yeast transformation for BioBricks
Sep 17, 2018
Meet the Team
Tartu_TUIT team is truly unique. To start with, the participants are students of an innovative University of Tartu program Science & Technology. Furthermore, as the program is international, our team consists of people of different geographical origins, that definitely brings multilateralism and diversity to the team! The members of our team are young passionate people interested in biology, genetic engineering, programming and infotechnology.
Tartu_TUIT iGEM team 2018
Students of Science & Technology program at the University of Tartu
Try to keep in touch with all the working groups and keep them connected. I also participate in the lab work and modeling.
Active member of the lab team. I am also responsible for the Integrated Human Practices, I contact scientists and experts from all over the world.
Mostly the lab team member. Also, I help with the collaborations.
As an active team member I tried to be involved in everything but most of my time was dedicated to the lab work and the notebook. I have also participated in collaborations with other teams.
Junior instructor who can provide full support with the iGEM-wiki and lab stuff.
I am working a little here and there. But most of the time I spend in laboratory.
Huynh Ngoc Chau Phan
I am working for Lab team and Wiki team. Doing the experiment and make the content for the Wiki page
I am member of Lab team. I spend most of time in the laboratory. I am also responsible for experiment part of team wiki page.
Somehow help the advisor with leading some parts of labwork, lead the modelling team.
Science & Technology program director. Supervisor who is ready to help us with any task.
In addition to working in the lab and helping our team with the wiki, I am also developing my skills in graphic design.
Supervisor who is ready to help us anytime.
Mostly lab work with some support in collaborations and sponsorship.
Work in the lab and code wiki page. I do 100 PCR samples a week and try not to hate css.
While being on track with the lab work, my main responsibility includes management of PR and HP fields. My activities range from managing our team’s social media accounts, marketing design decisions to organizing and carrying out educational events.
Junior instructor of the team.
Junior instructor of the team.
I am involved in iGem lab work and modelling.
Nothing posted yet.
- $220Total Donations
- $27.50Average Donation