Team:Hong Kong JSS/Achievement

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Team:Hong Kong JSS/Achievement


Bronze Requirements

  1. Competition Deliverables
    Wiki, Presentation Video and Judging Form
  2. Attributions
    Our heartfelt thanks for all the support from the Amazing People!
  3. Project Description
    Here is where all the ideas came from!
  4. Contribution
    Our project is the first one that has done a comprehensive review and preliminary demonstration of the capability of using synthetic laccase as a solution to tackle the aflatoxin contamination problem.
    We also add new information to F420H2-dependent reductase A (FDR-A) studied by iGEM 2017 Team CSMU_NCHU_Taiwan. Details of our contribution can be found here.

Silver Requirements

  1. Engineering Success
    Due to COVID-19, we have very limited access to school laboratories. But that’s not the end, through regular online meetings and literature research, we have designed and built new Parts and shown how it can work as expected details are listed here. We had also done some preliminary testing to prove our concept work, the results can be found here. Details of our engineering design cycle can be found here.
  2. Collaboration
    This year, we collaborated with several local high school iGEM teams to organize the 2021 Hong Kong High School iGEM Symposium. Details of the event can be found here.
  3. Human Practice
    Please visit our Human Practice page to see why we care and why we work on aflatoxins. We believe our work can draw the attention of the public and provide a better solution to the current aflatoxin contamination problems.
  4. Proposed Implementation
    Visit here to see how we would implement our project in the real world.

Gold Requirements

  1. Integrated Human Practices
    We identify aflatoxin contamination is a global issue; yet local communities are paying less attention to it (from public survey). Therefore, we tested for aflatoxin from local groceries samples and consulted local groceries retailers for their view on the issue. They gave us feedback that less attention was paid because no serious health damage was reported due to aflatoxin contamination. And they did not know any convenient ways to test for and remove aflatoxin available in the market.

    For this reason, we aimed to design a convenient product to remove aflatoxin in crops selling in grocery stores.

    After our preliminary design, we consulted local expert Prof. Lam for his advice on our choice of aflatoxin degrading enzyme and protein purification method. Furthermore, the prototype design was pitched to retail store owners, their comments on the design were incorporated into our final prototype design improvement.

    Please visit our Human Practice page to know each step in our project.
  2. Project Modelling
    The Michaelis-Menten kinetic equation is used to develop a mathematical model to describe TVlac and FDR-A activities. Rate comparison between TVlac and FDR-A was performed. Though the catalytic rate constant of TVlac on aflatoxin was not obtained, TVlac activity on ABTS was used to compare.

    Besides, time required for aflatoxin degradation by the two proteins were estimated by their aflatoxin catalytic characteristics. The result shows that FDR-A has an overwhelming advantage on aflatoxin degradation. As a result, it is prefered to utilize FDR-A as our active ingredient in our final design product.

    Please visit our Modelingto know more.
  3. Proof of concept
    In phase 1 of our project, we used a CAD program to design a realistic product which we believed would work in reality. We also discussed and proposed to use GM E. coli itself as a tool to fight aflatoxins contamination in storage food. Details of our proposed products can be found here.
  4. Education and Communication
    In order to promote synthetic biology to high school students, and raise their awareness of aflatoxins contamination in food, we launched a series of educational programs in 4 local high schools. Details can be found here.