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Engineering yeast to produce eco-friendly compounds for sunscreen

$220
Raised of $1,200 Goal
19%
Ended on 11/01/18
Campaign Ended
  • $220
    pledged
  • 19%
    funded
  • Finished
    on 11/01/18

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.


Budget

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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.


Endorsed by

I think this project provides good initial data in the field of MAA production in yeast. The results of this project may be used in further research. The team consists of bachelor students, and supervised by expirienced researchers.

Flag iconProject Timeline

iGEM calendar:

http://2018.igem.org/Calendar

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

Project strarted

Jun 11, 2018

Primers and vectors design

Jun 27, 2018

First PCR for BioBricks 

Aug 21, 2018

Yeast transformation for BioBricks 

Sep 17, 2018

Project Launched

Meet the Team

Tartu_TUIT iGEM team 2018
Tartu_TUIT iGEM team 2018
iGEM Tartu_TUIT team 2018

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Irina Borovko
Irina Borovko
Team leader

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Nargiz Kazimova
Nargiz Kazimova
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Anastasia  Kolosova
Anastasia Kolosova
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Tinatin Tkesheliadze
Tinatin Tkesheliadze
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Daniel Shmidt
Daniel Shmidt
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Veronika
Veronika
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Huynh Ngoc Chau Phan
Huynh Ngoc Chau Phan
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Turan Badalli
Turan Badalli
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Aleksandra Panfilova
Aleksandra Panfilova
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Ilona
Ilona
Secondary PI

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Frida Matievskaya
Frida Matievskaya
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Artemi Maljavin
Artemi Maljavin
Advisor

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Arthur Astapienka
Arthur Astapienka
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Nadya Chulkova
Nadya Chulkova
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Alissa Agerova
Alissa Agerova
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Luka Bulatović
Luka Bulatović
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Dainis Ivanovs
Dainis Ivanovs
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Vlad Tuzov
Vlad Tuzov
Team member

Affiliates

University of Tartu
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Team Bio

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

Irina Borovko

Try to keep in touch with all the working groups and keep them connected. I also participate in the lab work and modeling.

Nargiz Kazimova

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.

Anastasia Kolosova

Mostly the lab team member. Also, I help with the collaborations.

Tinatin Tkesheliadze

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.

Daniel Shmidt

Junior instructor who can provide full support with the iGEM-wiki and lab stuff.

Veronika

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

Turan Badalli

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.

Aleksandra Panfilova

Somehow help the advisor with leading some parts of labwork, lead the modelling team.

Ilona

Science & Technology program director. Supervisor who is ready to help us with any task.

Frida Matievskaya

In addition to working in the lab and helping our team with the wiki, I am also developing my skills in graphic design.

Artemi Maljavin

Supervisor who is ready to help us anytime.

Arthur Astapienka

Mostly lab work with some support in collaborations and sponsorship.

Nadya Chulkova

Work in the lab and code wiki page. I do 100 PCR samples a week and try not to hate css.

Alissa Agerova

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.

Luka Bulatović

Junior instructor of the team.

Dainis Ivanovs

Junior instructor of the team.

Vlad Tuzov

I am involved in iGem lab work and modelling.

Lab Notes

Nothing posted yet.


Project Backers

  • 8Backers
  • 19%Funded
  • $220Total Donations
  • $27.50Average Donation
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