Team:IIT Delhi/Brainstorming




Different areas, we focussed for project were related to Biomedical (creating cheap drugs using synthetic biology), Biochemical (synthesis of synthetic chemicals), Biofuels (huge work is done in this area by previous teams) and Bioelectronics (synthetic biology based biosensors).

We came up with lots of ideas for our project.

All these ideas are summarised below:

Idea 1
This was about a bacteria which can be useful in removing waste material which accumulates in a battery or cell over the period of time, which might lead to increase in the efficiency of battery

Idea 2
Japanese Encephalitis, which affects in areas of India like Bihar, Gorakhpur which causes death of kids and usually gets transferred by mosquitoes, no proper treatment is available, only vaccination is a way to prevent this from happening, so we can work on this, let’s say on a cure for the disease (long shot).

Idea 3
We can make a bacteria which makes biofuel using what info we have about Jatropha (which is widely cited as future Biodiesel source).

Idea 4
Bacterial protein production which keep ice formed on the food, which may help in better storage for food.

Idea 5
Bio-photography which was about how we can use bacteria to produce photographs by making bacteria to produce colors according to light sensitivity. Simpler one was that we just create black and white photos instead of colored ones. And each bacteria will act as a pixel, improved image quality was possible in this case. (UT Austin's Project was similar to this idea, so gave up on this one).

Idea 6
We create a system which turns on the glowing of these bacteria using ultrasound which disrupts the cell membrane and in response bacteria will initiate the repairing mechanism which may be connected with some gene expression which could be used to trigger production of protein responsible for Bioluminescence.

Idea 7
Bacteria which can absorb gases like SO2, CH4, CO2, we can use them in industries for absorbing effluent gases. This can be done by installing reactors in the chimneys, allowing gases to bubble through the media (which has synthetic bacteria) and get dissolved in it and convert it to something which could be remover further. Cyanobacteria absorbs CO2 maybe we can build up on it but then we came to know that E. coli does not work very well in this situation.

Idea 8
A useful and interesting idea can be genetically engineered virus/bacteria to raise energy in an electrochemical cell, or perhaps simply to increase the lifespan of a rechargeable battery.

Idea 9
A relatively new idea is producing electricity from waste food. There has been some achievement though in this field and results have been interesting. The only problem is speed of process (actually rate of transfer of electrons). May be one can engineer the bacteria to move the electrons along more quickly.

Idea 10
Actually, in a research it was seen that although use of carbon nanotubes in SOLAR cell (yes, not an electrochemical cell) is good, the efficiency of the process can be further increased by incorporation of a genetically modified M13 virus. The basic idea is that maybe we can use the same bacteria or modify it further to be applicable for electrochemical cells too.

Idea 11
Relationship between gut-flora and Intelligence in a study on mice, and E. coli is a gut bacterium and hence any engineering done might have a valuable human practice component as well.

Idea 12
Idea of an engineered bacteria which can produce something which can be used to kill other bacteria, which are responsible for pathogenicity in the water of Yamuna River.

Idea 13
Degradation of concrete structure using bacteria, this can be very helpful in cases where concrete structures are to be taken down for let’s say reconstruction, this way of taking down concrete structure will help in reducing air pollution as well as noise pollution caused by machines used.

Idea 14
Degradation of Endosulfan which leads to bioaccumulation and causes death as well as permanent disabilities. So making a bacteria which can degrade such pesticides could be very useful for bioremediation.

Idea 15
Save the ozone Idea of decreasing Cl2 level in ozone zone using bacteria, which can convert the chlorine in some stable compound which does not form radicals in presence of UV.

Idea 15
Engineering a bacteria in such a way that it can solve mathematical puzzles using quorum sensing.

Idea 16
Edible bacteria-something that you can ingest without any processing. Just grow it, pellet it and eat it. It neither has to provide any wholesome diet, nor has to perform any specific function in the body. Just a chassis like tablets and injections which deliver something (be it a drug or any antibiotic) to the body.

Idea 17
Current Detection-As weird as it may sound, I don't think anyone has detected electric current through bacteria! We have electric instruments to detect if there's a problem with earthing and whether the tap that you were just going to touch can give you an electric shock, then why not have some immobilized bacteria sprinkled on a surface to show that it’s time to call the electrician.

Idea 18
Super-fast E coli-BCCS Bristol made a fantastic project in 2008 that combined 4 sensing technologies to physically move a micron size particle from point A to point B. Maybe, if we could increase the speed of the flagella motion of E coli or somehow increase its efficiency, we can improve on the Bristol team's project.

Idea 19
Natural disaster detection using E. coli. Tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides etc. Say, we could develop something which when put in the sea by fishermen could give them an indication of how rough the sea would become if they venture further.

Idea 20
Biological detection on macro level like for endangered whales: - We could somehow associate E. coli with plankton which when consumed by a certain species of whale triggers a response from the E. coli. Something akin to changing color of the fecal matter. It will have lot of benefits like, no specialized equipment will be needed, and bacteria can be modified easily to improve the detection process.

Idea 21
Idea of anti-termites:- to save bamboo structures it can be a great idea as existing chemical take either too much time to act or they are toxic for humans as well, so we can work on their efficiency and environment issues.

Idea 22
Idea of GLU-CHROMI: - to combine the E. chromi color dyes with some adhesive protein, which could be used as bio paint.

Idea 23
pH-strip idea Idea of pH detection using bacteria. Bacteria will produce different colors according to different pH.

Feel Free to contact us at igemiitdelhi2013 at gmail dot com if you have queries; requests; suggestions et cetera.

Thanks to iGEM and IIT Delhi,
we had an awesome summer!
Our Project was supported by and done by the students

 of IIT Delhi, India.

This project was done as a part of iGEM:
iGEM Main Website