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The Microbeagle

A biological system designed to detect the presence of pathogens in water samples

What can microBeagle do for you? (Additional Image credit to University of Virginia)

Micro-Beagle is a novel reporter system for E-coli that, as an iGEM first, has been designed to dynamically detect arbitrary target solids (including other cells) through a mechanism activated by cell surface binding.

Micro-Beagle was initially developed to address the need for a low cost, energy efficient and robust tool to be used to assess the effectiveness of current water purification systems. As the Micro-Beagle is intended to operate at a low cost it is ideal for use in low-income areas where the testing of water purification techniques cannot be maintained at an acceptable frequency.

Micro-Beagle is designed to also be a modular system, utilising Ice Nucleation Protein to express and position target-binding peptides on the cell surface. Target binding induces membrane stress that activates the Cpx signalling pathway, and Micro-Beagle thus utilises a promoter from this pathway (pCpxR) to initiate expression of a reporter protein, such as GFP.

As a proof of concept, we have used silica beads as a model diagnostic target (a pathogen surrogate) and the silica-binding “Si4” sequence as the target-binding peptide.

We foresee Micro-Beagle being adapted for both the detection of waterborne pathogens and a variety of other diagnostic applications, and we envision future multisensor Micro-Beagles in which diverse pathogens can be simultaneously and quantitatively measured from a single water sample.

The Leeds 2013 iGEM team

The Kings in the North

We are the Leeds 2013 iGEM team, a group of undergrads from various courses at the University of Leeds, all with a passion for synthetic biology!
Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire, in the North of England. It has strong historical ties to the wool industry, and is famous for the Tetley brand of bitter ale.
The University of Leeds is a British Red Brick and member of the Russell Group and was officially formed as an independent university via Royal Charter from King Edward VII in 1904.

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Geneious, our fine sponsors and suppliers of software Bioline, our fine sponsors and suppliers of equipment Qiagen, our fine sponsors and suppliers of PCR kits
Bangs Laboratories, our fine sponsors and suppliers of silica beads
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