Project Leads: Andre Zylstra (az308) and Bill Jia (bzj20)

For this year’s Biology Project we will be building light-responsive genetic circuits in E.coli!

Once we have settled into the Biomakespace, our first goal will be to implement a system to make the bacteria generate colour changes in their environment in response to light. Then we intend to move on to a genetic construct which will allow the bacterial coony to perform edge detection i.e. only to produce colour changes where the light / dark boundary falls over the colony.

Finally, we hope to be able to extend previously published work by generating a circuit enabling colonies to perform high-pass filtering, resulting in a kind of image sharpening behaviour. We expect computational modelling of the system will play a significant role in making this possible!

To dig into the finer details of the circuits we will be using, have a look at:

  1. Levskaya et al. (2005) Synthetic biology: Engineering Escherichia coli to see light. Nature, 438(7067),441-442.
  2. Tabor et al. (2009). A Synthetic Genetic Edge Detection Program. Cell, 137(7), 1272-1281.

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