Team:UANL Mty-Mexico/Synthetic Cuatrocienegas


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SynBio Tunnel at Cuatrocienegas Back

Following the success of synthetic biology Tunnel we received an invitation from the Government of the Cuatrociénegas Town which is one of 38 municipalities of the state of Coahuila, in northern of Mexico, where the tunnel was exposed in elementary schools, junior highs and high schools as well as teachers and researchers of that place.

Cuatrociénegas has an important ecological reserve, which is the home of several endemic organisms,it is considered a "time capsule" because it is one of the sites with the greatest variety of biological species on the planet and is a good model to study the primitive Earth since 200 million of years ago was part of the coast of Laurasia. Today, stromatolites can be found dating back approximately 3 500 millions of years. One of the famed endemic organisms is the Bacillus coahuilensis (endemic of Cuatro Cienegas), which has the ability to thrive in salty environments.

Dr. Valeria Souza, from the Institute of Ecology in the UNAM, with the support of businessman Carlos Slim and LALA dairy company, awarded scholarships to 60 students of the CBTA 22 ( Agricultural Technology High School Center) to perform visits on agricultural lands and in 2012 it opened the molecular biology and biotechnology laboratory, in which students can extract DNA from "the wells of their houses, cultivate and sequence it." [García, K., (2013)].

In order to promote the protection of biodiversity of the place and let to know some endemic organisms, the tunnel modules had different modifications focused on the field work of Cuatrociénegas.

These applications allowed us to raise awareness among people of the value of natural resources and sustainable use of them resulting in an interest in the various applications of synthetic biology applied in that community.

The little lakes of Cuatrociénegas are special to keep an analogous food chain from 550 million years ago, because their organisms are related with marine species that may be direct descendants of the ancient shallow seas in the area. In addition, these organisms are adapted to live in extreme conditions, such as almost total lack of phosphorus in the water and the high incidence of solar radiation. So the NASA considers Cuatrociénegas one of the few ecosystems model for understanding the evolution of the early Earth, and for design studies to find life on other planets, such as Mars.

The team had the opportunity to visit the blue lake and the different gypsum Duanas, which made the trip had a great experience, and helped us understand the natural treasures of the place.

Thanks to this trip the team joined and created bonds of fellowship. Making this a great opportunity to coexist outside and within the scholar stuff.

Finally, we thought for being a good scientist is really necessary to know about arts and design too for this kind of situations, and of course to know how to coordinate a lot of people for making things like this possible.

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