Implementation of a genetic kill switch to control environmental release of genetically modified organisms
Project Description

Genetically modified organisms may be accidentally released into the field/environment. They can spread across a broad ecosystem leading to environmental disasters. Strategy has been developed for containment of these organisms that they are only viable within the lab, and would not be viable upon environmental exposure. An effective tool kit needs to be developed for both safety concern and ecological conservation. This project aims to work on a genetic design to achieve this goal adopting synthetic gene circuit for both monitoring and control, and should provide a proof of principle demonstration of the viability of the design.

Supervisor
CHOW King Lau
Quota
2
Course type
UROP1100
Applicant's Roles

Applicants will conduct background literature research to review available kill switch containment designs, identify key application niches, and shortcoming of the strategy. Molecular biology and genetic work primarily working with bacteria or small organisms will be adopted to test out the new design strategy, and plan for a test run in the lab setting.

Applicant's Learning Objectives

Primarily three objectives:
Thorough literature evaluation training.
Acquisition of molecular biology and genetic tools in manipulating gene functions for the kill switch purpose.
Coordinate with members on execution of the project to completion to demonstrate the utility of the new device.

Complexity of the project
Challenging