TopImage

iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第四弾~

本記事では、iGEM 2020年に参加した全チームのプロジェクトについてまとめた記事の第四弾になります。(全四回の最終回)。
iGEM 2020では、どのようなテーマがあったのか網羅的にわかるようになっておりますので、ざっと眺めて見てはいかがでしょうか。

第一弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第一弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第一弾~

第二弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第二弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第二弾~

第三弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第三弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第三弾~

※本まとめは、全てのデータをiGEM2020のオープンなデータから取得しております。

データの見方

(例) チーム名(チームページリンク付き)
タイトル
要約
Wikiへのリンク

このような構成で、全チームをまとめていきます。

チームリスト

UIUC Illinois
Title
Viralizer – Modeling Covid-19 mutations and binding energies to design potential antibodies

Abstract
Covid-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a highly mutative virus for which developing effective antibodies is difficult. Thousands of spike protein mutations have been detected but fewer than 1% of them have solved crystal structures. To address this shortage, we created Viralizer: an interactive online database that contains over 26,000 mutated spike protein sequences and their corresponding structures, developed using homology modeling in PyRosetta. This allows the user to analyze the effects of spike protein mutations on the functionality of the protein and its binding with potential antibodies. The spike protein database is paired with a phylogenetic tree that characterizes the propagation of the virus over space and time. We also developed a genetic algorithm that uses spike protein structures and their binding energies to design hundreds of potential antibodies that bind to the spike protein and reduce its binding affinity to the ACE-2 receptor on cells.  
Go to Wiki


SMS Shenzhen
Title
Special Kit Invented for Parkinson's disease

Abstract
Parkinson's Disease, a syndrome causing patients to present static tremor and rigidity, has become a major disease in people over 60. Until now, it is still common that patients forget to take meds or are unable to do so due to tremoring and dystonia. The predicament has severely affected the potency of drugs and accelerating the progress of the disease. Therefore, we design SKIP (Special Kit Invented for Parkinson's disease). Light-inducible bacteria, along with devices that carry LED, are first implanted into patients' intestine. A bracelet will detect tremors when it occurs and sends signals to doctors, who would administrate L-dopa and send the signal back into the device that is implanted in the intestine. Receiving the signal, the LED will illuminate, which induces the light-inducible bacteria to produce L-dopa. Being capable to achieve instant feedback and remote regulation, SKIP has the potential to be applied to variable conditions.
Go to Wiki


Calgary
Title
Oviita: A Community-Based Approach to Vitamin A Deficiency

Abstract
As a leading global cause of preventable blindness and mortality, vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a serious health problem, particularly in developing regions. Oviita aims to equip these vulnerable regions with a sustainable and community-based solution to VAD. Our solution uses a food-safe strain of Yarrowia lipolytica modified to produce beta-carotene, a Vitamin A precursor. By engineering this yeast to produce cellulase, VAD communities can grow it as their own vitamin A supplement using readily-available plant matter as feedstock. To facilitate community integration, we designed bioreactor schematics based on locally-available resources, and made the yeast auxotrophic to ensure safe growth with no environmental risk. We also created a Vitamin A biosensor to improve VAD testing, and included an anthelmintic agent in the yeast to combat poor intestinal health, two contributing factors to VAD. Through these solutions, Oviita aims to be a sustainable and community-based adjunct to global efforts against VAD. 
Go to Wiki


UM Macau
Title
Biofilm-Removing E. coli for Aquarium Cleaning (BREAC)

Abstract
As biofilm grows rapidly, it attaches to the inner surface of aquariums and aquatic organisms, which lowers the water quality if not cleaned regularly. However, the removal of biofilm in large aquariums is time-consuming and relies on inefficient labor through scrubbing. To address these concerns, we engineered the BL21 bacteria strain of E.coli to detect and biodegrade biofilms. The T7 promoter drives the expression of LuxR, which recognizes the signaling molecule AHL that is secreted by biofilms. Combined with AHL, LuxR would bind to the pLuxR to express the adhesive protein, Ag43, and digestive enzymes, DNase and protease. Our engineered bacteria will bind to the biofilm and degrade it efficiently.
Go to Wiki


NJMU-China
Title
Sound of Silence: Domestic autism screening based on urinary metabolites

Abstract
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with its prevalence increasing dramatically over past decades, brings severe burden on both families and the society. Nowadays, the screening of ASD mainly bases on behavioral scale, neglecting the genetic and metabolic alterations. Meanwhile, it calls for test methods with lower price and higher privacy. Our project consists two parts: a test strip for domestic tests based on urinary metabolites and further, a parallel screening strategy that increases sensitivity. As for the test strip, it is embedded with whole cell biosensors of elevated urinary serotonin, which was previously reported to play a critical role in ASD development. And the biosensor was constructed utilizing the Qurom-Sensing system in P. aeruginosa in this project. As for the parallel screening strategy, we employed machine learning algorithm and find a combination of metabolites for screening that performs best by representing most of the heterogenous patient population.
Go to Wiki


Shanghai SFLS SPBS
Title
Not hair die, hair DYE: Biosynthesis of natural hair dyes with engineered bacteria

Abstract
Hair-dyeing is becoming increasingly popular, and the demand for harmless dyes is constantly rising. However, more common synthetic dyes may damage the hair cortex and cause allergies. Despite increasing attention to natural dyes, its production is limited and products are expensive. We propose using engineered bacteria to mass-produce natural, harmless hair dyes. We successfully synthesized melanin, indigo, dopaxanthin, and indoline-betacyanin and dyed hair into black, blue, and red. We used Vibrio natriegens to increase the rate of production. V. natriegens could produce melanin faster than E. coli. Furthermore, considering that synthetic dyes are composed of oxidants and pigment precursors, we envisage combining oxidases and pigment precursors to dye hair. We have expressed bacterial laccase and tested its activity. Next, we will try to optimize dyeing protocols and discuss the safety aspects of potential products. If successful, our products could bring dramatic changes to the market and introduce substantial social benefits.
Go to Wiki

St Andrews
Title
The in-silico design of an environmentally friendly probiotic sunscreen 

Abstract
The St Andrews iGEM team have used synthetic biology to create a novel skin probiotic which protects against UV radiation. Current sunscreens contain multiple inorganic nanoparticles and UV-absorbing compounds known to enhance the bleaching response of corals, making them more vulnerable to other environmental stressors. Using Nissle E. coli as a chassis, we sought to design a living sunscreen expressing a potent photoprotective compound, shinorine. Our human practices reinforced our belief that the biosafety is integral to the success of our probiotic. We have developed a novel killswitch that uses environmental stimuli to prevent long-term colonisation of both the skin and the environment. We conducted an international survey on attitudes towards sunscreen and genetic engineering, allowing us to better appreciate public consensus on these topics. In-silico modelling served a vital role; we modelled the dynamics of our gene circuit and used these results to predict its evolutionary stability.  
Go to Wiki


KCL UK
Title
Creation of a 3D-bioprinted polycaprolactone scaffold with mussel-foot protein Pvfp-5β-based bioadhesive coating for biomedical applications.

Abstract
Annually, between 250,000 and 500,000 individuals worldwide suffer from a spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI is characterised by damage to the spinal cord followed by a complex pathophysiological response and loss of neuronal function below the site of injury. The limited regenerative abilities of the CNS combined with the inhibitory environment created by the glial scar at the affected area pose numerous challenges to restoring function. Working towards a therapy for SCI, we have designed and modelled a biodegradable scaffold composed of polycaprolactone, that incorporates a synthetic mussel-foot protein based bioadhesive coating, to encourage axonal attachment, and can be produced using 3D-bioprinting methods. Our scaffold is customisable and contains the necessary micro- and macro-architectures predicted to topographically encourage axonal regrowth and withstand the mechanical forces in the spine. We have further investigated in silico the physicochemical properties of our chosen protein Pvfp-5β to better understand its biotherapeutic use. 
Go to Wiki


Moscow
Title
HaploSense

Abstract
As viruses mutate quickly, different genotypes among one species can develop. For some viral diseases, genotype detection is crucial for successful treatment, and hepatitis C is one of them. Nobel Prize 2020 was awarded for the fight against hepatitis С, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis C is caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) that has at least six different genotypes. Recombinant variant RF2k/1b is common in Russia, but it is often mistaken for genotype 1 that leads to incorrect treatment. However, a lot of infected people in Russia do not know their HCV genotype because of expensive testing or the impossibility to perform tests in peripheral regions.So, we are developing an easy-to-use portable Cas-based device “HaploSense” to solve this problem. HaploSense can be optimized for genotypes detection of any RNA viruses, including HIV or Sars-CoV-2, and may become a universal detection platform. 
Go to Wiki


Worldshaper-Wuhan
Title
miR-155 Sensor based on LncRNA Sequence Predict Chemoresistance in Breast Cancer patients

Abstract
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and is the second cancer frequently occurring worldwide of newly-diagnosed cancers. Resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy remains the major factor for treatment failure and death in breast cancer patients. Thus, there is an urgent search for new, non-invasive, biomarkers to evaluate the effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in breast cancer patients. A growing number of studies highlights the role of miR-155 in breast cancer drug and radio resistance development. Moreover, studies indicated that lncRNAs could act as sponges to compete miRNAs, participating in various biological processes. This mechanism gives rise to our idea that a sponge RNA based on the sequences of lncRNA with binding sites complementary to the sequence of miR-155 could monitor the expression of miR-155, which offers a non-invasive approach for evaluate the effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in breast cancer patients.
Go to Wiki

Korea-SIS
Title
Reducing Post-Harvest Losses During Storage of Grain Crops to Strengthen Food Security in Developing Nations

Abstract
 Rice is a staple food for many countries in Asia. Rice needs to be dried and stored under specific conditions after harvest. If not, it loses its merchantability and affects the total yield. In Sri Lanka, it affects the livelihood of 1.8 million farmers and the lack of proper post-harvest technology is costing them 2393 million dollars annually. The fungi that are present in the storage of rice are Aspergillus spp. In this project, we establish a stringent post-harvest management system for rice by measuring the concentration of aflatoxin B1, a toxin produced by Aspergillus spp. To measure the concentration of AFB1, we used the enzyme, cytochrome P450 1A2. Reactions between AFB1 and CYP1A2 result in compounds with epoxide residue, which can be used for the detection. Here, we also proposed a nonparametric MARS model designed to capture possible inter-dependent effects of environmental factors on fungal infection of stored rice.
Go to Wiki


Hong Kong HKU
Title
Beyond Unicellular: Recombinase circuits to develop monoculture phenotypic heterogeneity with precise ratiometric control

Abstract
Some natural populations of unicellular organisms exhibit uniquely high levels of cooperativity and labor division by sustaining phenotypic variation, which allows them to handle complex tasks efficiently. Similarly, achieving high degrees of compartmentalization in monocultures of engineered cells can bring tremendous benefits to multiple applications of synthetic biology, including healthcare, industrial use, and environmental remediation. Our project aims to develop a versatile set of tools that can help create and maintain stable phenotypic variation in cellular monocultures using bacteriophage-derived Cre recombinases, which recognize and invert a loxP-flanked genetic sequence in a stochastic manner. We introduced and assessed different mutations in the Cre enzyme to improve its accuracy and conducted pilot experiments for establishing ratiometric control of cellular phenotypes. To confirm the experimental phenotypic ratios, we built computational simulations that successfully predicted the phenotypic ratios and assessed phenotypic populations' stability and convergence with the coefficient of variation.
Go to Wiki

Peking
Title
Music Updating by Storage and Editing

Abstract
As a high-capacity, high-density storage medium, DNA has attracted the interest of many scientists. Based on the function of DNA to store information, using gene editing methods to change the information stored in DNA has great operability. In our project, music information is stored in plasmid DNA of E. coli with designed coding rules, and gene editing technology is used for artificial mutation. This is also brought out with in silico experiment.Through the scoring rules based on music theory and references, the mutated music information is screened, and music pieces with certain value are obtained, to achieve music evolution. At the same time, we have also used similar principles and methods to store and evolve video information. Together, this is a biological process of artistic creation, we hope to give an example of bio-art creation and inspire more artists to create in this interesting way.
Go to Wiki


IISER Berhampur
Title
FRaPPe: A FRET based Ranker for Proteins and Peptides

Abstract
FRaPPe by team iGEM IISER Berhampur, is a reporter system which aims to validate efficiency of therapeutics targeting protein-protein interactions (PPIs). This reporter, assembled with mammalian promoters, modulatory domains (Chemically Induced Dimerization modules), fluorescence tags (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer modules) and the coding sequences of proteins of interest will be developed in E. coli and transfected into Human Embryonic Kidney cells. This tool will enable modulation of the extent of PPIs and their quantification via fluorescence readout, offering possibilities for a high-throughput screening system for drug efficiency in attenuating these interactions in vitro.The utility of FRaPPe will be demonstratedusing interference peptides that will disrupt the Dengue Virus Non-Structural Protein and host STAT2 interaction thus modulating the host interferon signalling pathway.We propose FRaPPe as a one-stop solution for studying host-viral PPIs and also a tool to screen inhibitors of these interactions against several viral diseases.
Go to Wiki


Linkoping
Title
ClusteRsy: A user-friendly software for transcriptomic analysis and biomarker discovery

Abstract
Asthma is a chronic and inflammatory disease that affects the airways of 339 million people around the world yet the specific causes and triggers of asthma are still unknown. There is an increasing demand for refined diagnostic methods and in the age of Big data, the advancement of powerful algorithms provides an approach different from traditional methods. With the creation of the web-based software ClusteRsy we empower clinicians and biologists to analyze any RNA-seq data without the need of a bioinformatician. Through the use of ClusteRsy and our designed workflow, differentially expressed genes and pathways can be determined, which is pivotal to understand the mechanisms of diseases and find potential biomarkers. With the processed information, we have designed a theoretical biosensor to detect and distinguish asthma from similar conditions, hereby simultaneously striving to decipher the etiology of asthma and improving the diagnosis for the disease. 
Go to Wiki


CCU Taiwan
Title
Peptide-based dengue virus detection - DENDEX

Abstract
Dengue fever is listed as one of the “Top Ten Health Threats“ by the World Health Organization, which threatens approximately 3.95 billion people in tropical and subtropical regions. C-type lectin domain family 5 member A (CLEC5A), a receptor locating on the surface of macrophages, could interact with the envelope protein of dengue virus and trigger the signal transduction to cause the life-threatening cytokine storm. Based on this knowledge, we tried to develop a dengue virus detection kit “DENDEX“ using the peptides based on the partial sequences from CLEC5A. First, we confirmed the interaction of these peptides and the envelope protein using docking simulation. Then, we produced these peptides massively using a novel technique, called linear array epitope (LAE). These peptides will be used for detecting dengue virus in our kit, which contains gold nanoparticles as indicators. We hope this type of detection kit will provide a new diagnostic perspective. 
Go to Wiki


Baltimore BioCrew
Title
Improving Iron Uptake and Processing in Synechococcus CB0101 to Bolster Marine Ecosystems

Abstract
In 1/3 of the world's oceans, the iron concentration limits phytoplankton growth. Iron is required for photosynthesis and is critical for the base of the marine food web. A better ability to capture iron could increase phytoplankton populations which would have benefits such as reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide by acting as a carbon sink. We decided to engineer Synechococcus (cyanobacteria) because it consumes high levels of CO2, has a high replication rate, and has been used by many previous iGEM teams. Our project will engineer cyanobacteria to transport iron into cells and reduce it to the bioavailable Fe(II) form. The increased iron utilization will increase photosynthesis and growth of phytoplankton. To prevent harmful phytoplankton blooms, a kill switch will also be added to the cells to prevent overgrowth of cells if iron concentration increased significantly. These modifications will stabilize the marine food chain and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. 
Go to Wiki


DNHS SanDiego CA
Title
PreeclampsiRNA: Degrading sFlt1-14 mRNA with shRNA via lentiviral vectors to treat preeclampsia

Abstract
Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition, characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy. It affects many pregnancies globally, and although most women survive preeclampsia, untreated it can lead to severe complications, and even death. Despite extensive research, there is, unfortunately, no reliable treatment for preeclampsia. The goal of this project is to produce an effective theoretical siRNA treatment, PreeclampsiRNA, using recombinant lentiviral vectors to carry and deliver shRNA to the trophoblast to inhibit the translation of soluble Fms-like tyrosine kinase (sFlt1-14), an antiangiogenic pseudo-receptor that captures placental growth factor (PlGF) and prevents it from binding the proper receptor, which would signal for angiogenesis. We would test several different shRNA sequences to see which causes the most effective reduction of sFlt1-14. By degrading the mRNA of sFlt1-14 using siRNA, we aim to reduce the placental levels of this molecule (which is overproduced in preeclamptic patients, leading to hypertension) and thus alleviate symptoms.
Go to Wiki

Technion-Israel
Title
ACT. Anti-COVID-19 Technology: A hydrogel-based skin-screen containing proteins that act as “decoy proteins"

Abstract
It is now known that SARS-CoV-2 enters human cells through binding between its spike proteins ("S") and the ACE2 membranal proteins that are found on our cells. Hence, by occupying these "S", infection of the host cells could be drastically reduced or completely blocked.To achieve our goal, we developed a novel hydrogel-based skin-screen containing "decoy proteins" particles that reduce the virus's ability to infect. Our product will be effective for hours, won't damage the skin's microbiome and will be easily removed with water. To capture the "S", we'll use a mutated ACE2 (engineered for stronger linkage), and/or Sybodies (synthetic single-domain nanobodies) with the full antigen-binding capacity specifically to those "S". We have two delivery directions for both proteins: Microgel beads that strongly bind His-tagged proteins, and B.subtilis spore surface display technique. ACT. provides an active prophylactic solution that ensures further hurdles for the viral infection, thus flattening the curve.
Go to Wiki


KSA KOREA
Title
Ligninatior: Biological Lignin Degradation Method for Paper Recycling

Abstract
  Production of high-quality recycled paper through biodegradation of lignin can decrease chemical byproducts and wastewater generated by existing paper production processes to significant environmental and economic benefit. Treating box paper and newspaper with laccase and dye decolorizing peroxidase (DyP) during the recycling process produced paper with improved brightness, texture, and permanence. The results demonstrate that synthetic biology can be used to produce recycled paper in a more environmentally friendly manner compared to chemical treatments used to produce recycled paper today.   In addition, we have developed a biosensor and fluorometer pair to detect and measure phenolic compounds that are produced when lignin is dissolved. The pair can be used to monitor progress of lignin degradation in the paper recycling process and detect phenolic compounds in the environment. By expressing transporter of phenolic compounds in E.Coli, we have been able to obtain improved sensitivity compared to existing biosensors. 
Go to Wiki


AHUT-ZJU-China
Title
carbonic anhydrase 3.0

Abstract
  Greenhouse gas emissions lead to a rise in global average temperatures, which will endanger human lives and lives. We decided to use the biomimetic method of enzyme (carbonic anhydrase), which has the advantages of safety, high catalytic efficiency and environment-friendly compared with other methods of capturing and concentrating CO2. We designed an efficient and stable CA by improving the catalytic performance of CA from thermophilic bacteria and the biological stability of capturing CO2. We use computer-aided analysis software to predict the ideal mutation site of the protein. Then we carried out enzyme-substrate molecular docking and enzyme-solvent kinetics simulation, constructed wild-type and mutant CA prokaryotic expression vectors, and expressed and purified the protein. Finally, we carried out functional identification to determine whether the activity of the mutant protein changed and whether the thermal stability was significantly improved.
Go to Wiki


Heidelberg
Title
The Legend of Cellda – A Link Between Proteins

Abstract
DNA, RNA and proteins are the fundamental building blocks of synthetic biology and life itself. Of them all, fusion proteins, which are often too large and inflexible, take the spotlight, allowing for a modular approach to protein engineering. To mediate interactions between all three core components of life more flexible we aim to harness the power and flexibility of RNAs We apply machine learning to design flexible RNA modules and binding proteins for assembling complexes of protein domains, RNA and DNA in a sequence-specific manner. In addition, we engineer trans-splicing ribozymes to reconfigure our RNAs and proteins at the transcript level. Also, we apply molecular modelling to provide tools to design specific RNA-binding proteins.Taken together, we provide a controllable, compact, and dynamical alternative to fusion proteins with applications to drug delivery and expand the toolbox of synthetic biology.
Go to Wiki


NYU Abu Dhabi
Title
Fungal Diagnostics

Abstract
NYUAD iGEM is developing a rapid, point-of-care, field fungal diagnostic device. Since the mid-1900s, a flesh-eating fungal disease, chytridiomycosis, has been condemning more amphibian species to extinction than any other pathogen ever recorded wiping out over 90 species and causing declines in at least 500. Similar fungal diseases have also been affecting other animals such as bats, disrupting their hibernation and leaving millions dead in their paths. Usage of diagnostics for managing spread has been limited due to the testing methods being latent, expensive, and non-portable. Following a rigorous approach at research and design, the first stage of the project involves prototyping DNA extraction methods such as bead beating and lysis buffers, reaction mediums such as microfluidics and paper-based biosensors, amplification methods such as RPA CRISPR-Cas12a and reporting mechanisms such as fluorescence and LFA, in addition to a database and API that can integrate with any existing surveillance system.
Go to Wiki

GunnVistaPingry US
Title
Odigos: An Improved CRISPR-Cas9 Effective Guide RNA Predictor

Abstract
Abstract: CRISPRi is a powerful tool for modulating gene expression in human cells. By designing a gRNA homologous to the target gene of interest, one can achieve targeted knockdown of the specific gene of interest. However, with current methodologies, one has to screen multiple gRNA sequences for efficient targeting while minimizing off-target effects. We present a prediction model for identifying the best gRNA sequence for efficient gene targeting in human cells. Starting with experimental data from knocking down specific genes using several gRNAs in iPS cells, we leverage machine learning to inform better selection of the gRNA. Our tool will be invaluable for designing gene targeting gRNAs and will reveal underlying biochemical principles governing CRISPR efficiency.
Go to Wiki


CPU CHINA
Title
Prevention methods of alcoholic liver disease by inflammation control and intestinal flora regulation

Abstract
We engineered a synthetic organism capable of expressing and secreting anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-22, which will get to liver first due to First Pass Effect after its absorption into bloodstream and perform anti-inflammation function to protect the injured liver part from further inflammation damage. We also endowed the chasis with anti-E.faecalis function controlled by quorum sensing system. We chose bacteriocins JM79, plwα and plwβ with high specificity towards E.faecalis, the bacteriocins will function in situ to kill the over-reproduced E.faecalis to balance the intestinal flora, thus protect the liver from further immunoreaction at immunogen level. The chasis applied is E.coli Nissle 1917, which is a type of probiotic that can be taken orally in capsule. The system is expected to protect the liver with alcohol-induced inflammation from further pathological progression and is possible to be used as an adjuvant therapy in the future.
Go to Wiki


BUCT-China
Title
Biodegradation of plastics and further utilization of the degradation products for biopolymer synthesis

Abstract
Plastic is a remarkable substance that has multiple advantages for many applications. But it also brought huge disasters to our ecological environment. Over time, that plastic material does not biodegrade, but breaks down into tiny particles known as microplastics, and enter the food chain. Last year, we observed a strain, which can degrade PE and PS. This year, based on last year's study, we made some improvements and conducted further exploration work. Our project have two parts. The first part is to degrade PE into alkanesIn. We construct an artificial metabolic pathway and use surface display to express Laccase on the surface of spores, making the reaction more efficient and intuitive. The second part is to use those metabolites to synthesize environmentally-friendly material PHFA (poly hydroxyl fatty acid). Based on genome sequencing and synthetic biology, we constructed another engineered bacteria to utilize plastics to synthetic value-added products such as PHFA. 
Go to Wiki


JACOXH China
Title
Earthworm Yakult

Abstract
Soil has always been important to humans, providing a resource that can be used for shelter and food production. Prevention of contaminated soil is closely related to health problems in soil-plant-animal-human system. Here, we designed a "walking" biological platform for the detection and remediation of mercury contaminated soil. Multifunctional engineering bacteria were cultured, with MerR-dependent hypersensitive switch, mercury monitor, and mercury stabilizer. Once mercury ions are found in the soil, multifunctional engineering bacteria scattered in the soil can be activated, releasing chromogenic protein and stabilizing mercury ions in the form of HgS with low toxicity. Moreover, considering engineering bacteria move slowly in the soil and is greatly affected by the environment, we choose earthworm as the walking carrier. The engineering bacteria will be reproduced in the earthworm body and move through soil followed with the earthworm to monitor and remedy mercury contaminated soil movably.
Go to Wiki


Pittsburgh
Title
Bluetooth Bacteria

Abstract
Our ability to control the function of engineered microbes is limited within hard to reach places, such as deep within human tissue, the rhizosphere surrounding crops, or pipes in manufacturing facilities. The field of magnetogenetics has begun to consider how magnetic fields could affect biological molecules and cells. In our project, we aim to control the function of bacteria via the remote activation of an alternating magnetic field (AMF). E. coli will be engineered to respond to magnetic stimuli by attaching magnetic nanoparticles to the surface of the bacterial membrane in conjunction with cytoplasmic temperature-sensitive transcriptional repressors to regulate gene expression of the green fluorescent protein. Upon AMF stimulation, magnetic nanoparticles heat up and increase cytoplasmic temperature, thereby inducing a conformational change of the repressor dimers and allowing transcription of target genes. This technology critically couples alternating magnetic field stimulation with thermal sensitive parts to enable “wireless” control of bacteria. 
Go to Wiki


UC Davis
Title
Expanding the gene regulatory toolkit in filamentous fungi through bioinformatics-directed genome mining.

Abstract
We developed computational tools to identify potential filamentous fungal transcription factors and their cognate binding sites to expand the available parts list for these organisms. Our tools enable a comparative genomic approach to mine more than 600 fungal genomes for transcription factors associated with Biosynthetic Gene Clusters and motif finding algorithms to identify their putative binding sites. We have designed the tools we'll need to validate these constructs experimentally which will create a library of transcription factor-binding site pairs.
Go to Wiki


RUM-UPRM
Title
Mer-Nite to the Rescue: A Solution to Decrease Contamination in Vieques

Abstract
For over six decades, Vieques, an island-municipality of Puerto Rico, was used as a military training site. An array of contamination was left behind due to the materials and explosives used, devastating the biodiversity, and increasing health risks for the Viequenses. Initiatives to clean the waters and soil of Vieques exist; however, it has been a costly and lengthy process. iGEM RUM-UPRM proposes Mer-Nite, a solution to decrease the contamination in Vieques due to the military practices. Phase 1 of the project consisted of designing a genetic system to absorb and bioremediate mercury through the expression of the mer operon, combined with a second circuit that will be activated upon the presence of RDX and degrade the contaminant through the expression of the xplA and xplB genes. Mer-Nite represents an alternative solution to decrease the contamination, conserve biodiversity, and improve the quality of life in Vieques. 
Go to Wiki


SCU-WestChina
Title
Lung Knight- Recombinant protein carried by liposomes for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Abstract
There are more than 3 million people worldwide suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. However, the price of the mainstream therapy whose curative effect and targeting ability is poor, is too high to afford for most patients. Based on this fact, we offer an entirely new treatment: TGF-beta II truncated receptor was fused with collagen-targeted peptides to construct recombinant protein drugs.The recombinant protein was embedded in liposomes to construct the molecular drug delivery system.The patients are given the drug into the lungs by inhaling it through an atomizer.We have proved this product is effective anti-fibrosis drug through three-stage experiments. This product has the following advantages:1. Directly block the worsening signal and significantly slow down the process of pulmonary fibrosis.2. Accurately target the lesions with little side effect3. Accurate liposome delivery, which is gentle and efficient.4. Makes it convenient for patients to get treatment by themselves.
Go to Wiki


NOVA LxPortugal
Title
Introducing Pseudomonas putida in the fight against the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

Abstract
Pinus pinaster is a tree species native to the Mediterranean region and susceptible to Pine Wilt Disease (PWD), a deadly pest caused by a nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, that affects several areas across the globe, including Portugal. The transmission of this disease is mediated by insect vectors, pine sawyer beetles of the genus Monochamus, that carry B. xylophilus inside their tracheal system and on their body surfaces. Currently, the most used control methods include the elimination of attacked trees, the use of traps to capture the vector insect or spraying trees with insecticides to prevent the insect vector's maturation feeding. We aim using our knowledge in synthetic biology to prevent the economic and environmental damage caused by PWD by introducing in the pine tree's microbiome a genetically engineered Pseudomonas putida, capable of producing the nematicidal compound spectinabilin when triggered by the tree's stress response under the attack of the insect vector.
Go to Wiki


Harvard
Title
MOTbox: A COVID-19 Antibody Therapeutic Based on Machine Learning and DNA Origami Sequence Delivery

Abstract
MOTbox is a COVID-19 therapeutic that couples machine learning and DNA origami to design an optimized anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody and deliver its mRNA sequence to immune cells in infected patients. It is intended to serve as an interim treatment in a pandemic scenario that can be manufactured cheaply and quickly with limited lab access while a vaccine is developed. Using ensemble machine learning and differential evolution algorithms, we optimized anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody sequences to enhance binding affinity and therapeutic potential. We designed and computationally validated a novel DNA origami nanostructure to selectively deliver the optimized antibody sequences to immune cells for rapid antibody production in vivo. The high potency of the optimized antibodies and the specificity of DNA origami delivery reduce the minimum therapeutic dose, thereby reducing treatment cost. Our work is a proof-of-concept of a rapid, cost-effective antibody treatment for COVID-19 that can also be extended to treating other emerging diseases.
Go to Wiki


UMaryland
Title
A New CDC: Colorimetric Detection of COVID

Abstract
Accelerating the pace and improving the accessibility of COVID-19 testing is critical for the world's response to the pandemic, especially in university settings. UMaryland iGEM set out to design a low-tech COVID-19 diagnostic test that is reliable, easy to use, and easy to interpret. Lacking access to a wet lab, the team has designed and modeled an isothermal CRISPR-based diagnostic that employs two DNA-programmed catalytically dead Cas13 (dCas13) recognition domains, each fused to part of a split beta-lactamase. A color change occurs upon reconstitution of the enzyme, and we predict with reasonable confidence that the signal will be visible to the human eye after 30 minutes. Three separate G-blocks will be used in conjunction with 3A assembly to clone the two dCas13-split-lactamase ORFs. Besides designing this test, we have rolled out a COVID-19 informational clearinghouse web site targeted to the UMD student population.
Go to Wiki


NYMU-Taipei
Title
Off the crown

Abstract
Due to the serious pandemic of COVID-19, this year, iGEM NYMU-Taipei 2020 tries hard to tackle the problem in a much more elementary approach. By utilizing the nature of strong binding interactions between hACE2 and the spike of SARS-CoV-2, we deeply believe that we would be able to reap the benefits of viral evolution. In order to achieve our goals, we engineered a protein construct that includes the hACE2 receptor binding domain, a linker, and a protease that is specific at cleaving spike proteins. The protein construct functions as a capture device and can be implemented on many occasions, such as masks, contact lenses, and even filtration devices, as a mean to capture, destroy, and even quantify the amount of virus particles on a particular surface, so as to reduce the number of SARS-CoV-2 and, moreover, decline the possibility of infection on human beings.
Go to Wiki


PYMS GZ China
Title
Too Much Infection: general assay platform to test infectivity of current and future SARS-CoV-2 strains

Abstract
Traditionally, measuring the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 requires a live virus which creates serious biosafety concerns. We wanted to create a safe alternative, utilizing a general assay system, to identify the infectivity of different current and future strains of SARS-CoV-2, as it is critical for assessing outbreak control and immunity of potential vaccines. Infectivity of different strains can be measured by the binding affinity between the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of Spike protein (S protein) and its human ACE2 receptor, which is how the virus gains entry into human cells. Various genetic mutations in the S protein affect the RBD-ACE2 interaction, therefore contributing to different infectivities. We engineered a pseudovirus to recap this crucial interaction by expressing S proteins corresponding to the original and the predominant G614D SARS-CoV-2 strains and used a luciferase assay to quantitatively measure infectivity.
Go to Wiki

SEHS-China
Title
Histamine Killer: A system Provides Early Warning and Symptom Relief for Allergy Sufferer

Abstract
Hay fever, a common allergy caused by pollen invading and stimulating the immune system to release histamine which is the main substance causing tissue edema, is reported that more than 40% of the world's population are affected. To reduce its harm, SEHS-China created a bio-system that can alert people and relieve allergic symptoms in the early allergy stage. Our main idea is to build a Histamine Sensor in bacteria or cell-free systems which can emit a fragrance when histamine level rises on the skin and nasal mucosa and also release rDAO, a histamine oxidase, to alleviate symptoms. This system is not limited as a drug to prevent allergies, but available for other applications such as clinical testing and detection of allergens in food. We hope that people susceptible to allergy can be greatly benefited from our product in the future.
Go to Wiki


KAIT Japan
Title
E. coli that Create a Creative Environment

Abstract
Our goal in this iGEM jamboree is development of “E. coli that create a creative environment”We've all suffered from the unpleasant odor of culturing E. coli .Therefore, we wanted to make unpleasant odors comfortable by development of E. coli that biosynthesize aromatic components.We decided on the sweet-smelling vanillin as the aromatic substance.In this research, the metabolic pathway to biosynthesize vanillin, we selected a pathway that metabolizes glucose to L-phenylalanine and introduces an enzyme gene to metabolize it to vanillin.Making the E. coli smell like vanilla may help alleviate unpleasant odors during the experiment and make it more enjoyable, allowing you to be more creative with your experiments.
Go to Wiki


SZ-SHD
Title
Insecticidal Missile: construction of a novel biopesticide using engineered Escherichia coli

Abstract
Locust plague is a common natural disaster striking many regions, that would severely damage agriculture activities and result in commercial loss. The control of locusts via spraying of pesticides has been widely applied despite the high industrial cost and ecological problems could potentially be contributed. Conversely, the research in Bt toxins (a class of toxic proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis) and the chitinolytic enzymes suggested expectant toxicity against locusts. In our project, we constructed two strains of engineered bacteria to synthesis both proteins, whereas the insertion of a plasmid contains a UV inducible promoter and a T4 lysis gene was used as a “suicide switch”, programed for automatic lysis to release these toxins under ultraviolet radiation.
Go to Wiki


UGent Belgium
Title
Vsycle: providing ecological rain on demand

Abstract
Drought, water scarcity as well as floods are becoming a worldwide problem. Influencing the weather to control rainfall by the use of cloud seeding, a technique where certain particles are dispersed in clouds, could be a remedy. Cloud seeding is already executed, but is mainly done by using the toxic silver iodide. With team Vsycle, we designed an alternative cloud seeding agent that is biological, nontoxic and biodegradable. For this, we used the ice nucleation proteins (INPs) from Pseudomonas syringae, which facilitates ice formation. As the formation of ice crystals in clouds plays an essential role in many environments, this protein could be very interesting to use as a potential alternative to silver iodide in cloud seeding. To anticipate on legislation issues regarding GMO's, we designed INP producing E. coli cells that can be induced to leak their cellular contents according to the bacterial ghost principle. 
Go to Wiki


NYC Earthians
Title
Creating A Chimeric APOL3 protein using CRISPR to cure trypanosomiasis in African Cattle

Abstract
African trypanosomiasis, caused by the parasitic kinetoplastid Trypanosoma brucei brucei (T.b.brucei), significantly threatens the African cattle population. The Trypanosome Lytic Factor Apolipoprotein L-1 (APOL1) is a pore-forming protein known to kill all types of trypanosomes in baboons. While cattle lack APOL1, from the genome-wide BLAST we found cattle APOL3 (c-APOL3) which is the closest homolog of baboon APOL1 (b-APOL1). Sequence alignment analysis showed that c-APOL3 lacked 38 residues in N-terminus and had differences in C-terminus domain. Further, structure prediction analysis via HHPred and RaptorX indicated that the N-terminus might interact with the C-terminus to maximize pore-forming potential in the b-APOL1, though c-APOL3 lacked these interactions. Therefore, chimeric proteins with a combination of N and C-termini from b-APOL1 in native c-APOL3 were designed and investigated for function using bioinformatics. The capability of CRISPR for insertion of chimeric genes into the host genome and physiological functional assays are being performed. 
Go to Wiki


Estonia TUIT
Title
SPARKLE: Solar potentiated Artificially Knitted Lipid Enclosures

Abstract
Yeasts have the potential to be used as cell factories to produce lipids (biodiesel, high-value lipids, etc.). However, bio-production is costly compared to chemical synthesis, as it is highly energy-consuming for the cell and product extraction is laborious. To increase competitiveness, we engineer yeast to accumulate high lipid levels by using light both as an inductor for metabolic switch and as an electron source. Further, yeast is designed to self-lyse after production. First, we introduce extra copies of lipid synthesizing enzymes controlled by light-inducible promoters. Next, we coat the cells with light-absorbing nanoparticles to enable the cells to use light as an electron source for NADPH formation – a critical cofactor for lipid synthesis. This leads to increased carbon flux to lipid production. To ease the product extraction, the cells are designed to autolyse by induction of cell wall degrading glucanases that are targeted to cell wall via anchor proteins.
Go to Wiki


BJ101HS
Title
Mother Yeast

Abstract
The inspiration for our project came from knowing nursing mothers faced lots of breastfeeding problems, including insufficiency of milk production and inconveniences of suckling. Realizing that there were significant differences between formula milk and breast milk, we came up with creating a breast milk substitute that better fits human nutritional needs. We learned that present formula milk lacks of important proteins like β casein, κ casein, lactoferrin, and α-lactalbumin. Thus, we paid our attention to these proteins and hoped we could produce them using synthetic biology methods. We chose yeasts as our engineering bacteria because they are welcoming for human bodies. We transfected CSN2, CSN3, LTF, and LALBA that are responsible for making the proteins that mentioned above into yeasts, and cultivated them. Finally, we got our targeted proteins and created a product. We hope following iGEMers can produce more materials like amylose to fix the disadvantages of formula milk.
Go to Wiki


DeNovocastrians
Title
Engineering microbes to detect and degrade pollutants

Abstract
Through our project we hope to eliminate benzene in polluted environments using bioremediation, a process which utilises microbes to degrade hazardous substances. Compared to traditional remediation practices, bioremediation is cheaper and more sustainable. First, we are creating a biosensor that will easily detect and measure environmental levels of benzene and catechol through a fluorescent protein expression system. Next, our project will identify and isolate the benABCDE gene cluster (benzene transport and degradation genes) from specialized bacteria that naturally import benzene into their cells and break it down into energy intermediates for growth in contaminated environments. Following this, we will insert these genes into a plasmid cloning vector and transform the model laboratory species Escherichia coli into a practically useful benzene degrader to clean up polluted sites on land and in water.
Go to Wiki


OSA
Title
metZyme: A DNAzyme-based Heavy Metal Ion Detection Kit

Abstract
High-density metals like lead and mercury, also known as heavy metals, have severely harmed the environment and our bodies. Every year heavy metal exposure results in millions of disabilities worldwide. Surprisedly, previous detecting methods for this urgent issue either require bulky instruments or professional technicians. Thus, it is imminent for us to devise a cheap, portable, accessible, accurate detection kit. We use DNAzyme, which can cleave ssDNA when combined with Zn2+, Mn2+, Pb2+. Cu2+. To maximize outputs, four amplification systems (HTDC, Toehold Switch, TO-DNA, and CRISPR-Cas12a) are also used. While we test these theories in lab, our human practice team interviews experts and discovers such a kit is not only needed for water detection but also for soil, which becomes the new focus of our project. We have achieved fluorescence and lateral flow detection of heavy metal ions which contribute to alleviating this severe environmental issue worldwide.
Go to Wiki


Stanford
Title
SEED: Self-replicating Embedded Environmental Diagnostic

Abstract
The Stanford iGEM team is engineering a customizable nucleic acid diagnostic that can be performed with Bacillus subtilis, a GRAS gram-positive bacteria. Our goal is to create persistent environmental nucleic acid surveillance by taking advantage of the natural competence found in B. subtilis. In the presence of a target nucleic acid sequence cells will produce a visible signal through two detection systems. The first approach uses RNA toeholds, composed of an RNA hairpin complementary to the target sequence and a reporter protein that produces a visual readout in the presence of the target. The second approach uses B. subtilis' recombination system to remove a negative selection marker in the B.subtilis genome flanked by regions of homology to the sequence of interest. The goal of this project is to create a diagnostic system that will help address future viral testing shortages by leveraging the natural scalability of cellular systems.
Go to Wiki


XHD-ShanDong-China
Title
DisHeat: increase heat adaptability of E. coli by changing the distance between genes

Abstract
Escherichia coli is one of the most widely-used bacteria in biological industry. However, its optimum growth temperature (37℃) needs to be carefully maintained to show the best activity. It will be more effective if E. coli can tolerate with a higher temperature. In this project, we tried to increase the heat adaptability of E. coli by changing the distance between a heat adaptation gene (degP) and its two regulator genes (cpxR and rpoE) belonging to a feed forward loop (FFL) network motif. Our new approach provides an alternative to the traditional methods such as enhancing promoter and plasmid transfection. This new engineered E. coli can not only improve reaction efficiency but also meet more requirements of special usage scenario (such as tropical regions). Meanwhile, we also investigated the relationship between distance and expression of genes in the network motif, which has foundational significance to synthetic biology.
Go to Wiki


BUCT
Title
Legolas•Microcystin: An innovation treatment of algal blooms and microcystin

Abstract
Every summer, many lakes around the world are covered with some disgusting, green microbes. They are cyanobacteria, which produce cyanobacteria toxins, such as microcystins. It can cause brain fever, skin allergies; even induce tumor genesis and liver cancer.In our project, we use a special chassis -cyanophage. We try to add two parts to the phage: a functional part that can be used to degrade the toxin and a control part that prevents the release of the cyanophage. Our functional part consists of MLR gene cluster, which produces microcystin-LR degrading enzymes to decompose the long-lasting cyclic peptide into harmless amino acids. Our control part consists of Unnatural amino acid systems. It can be used to limit the proliferation of the cyanophage. By putting our designed recombinant cyanobacteria into water bodies, we hope this will be a more safe and effective treatment in algal blooms and toxins degradation.
Go to Wiki


Montpellier
Title
Phagent: Phage-mediated reprogramming of the tumor microbiome to fight cancer

Abstract
Phagent is a global approach against cancer involving bacteria of the tumor microbiome and phages. Our goal is to engineer phages that will hack the tumor microbiome and make the infected bacteria produce oncolytic molecules. We focused on dacA, which triggers the cGAS-sting pathway, azurin which interferes with the tumor suppressor p53, and VHH-PL1, a nanobody interacting with the immune system. The phages are injected in the tumor and transform the bacteria of the microbiome. The choice of the phage depends uponthe target cancer and its microbiome. Then, the bacteria will produce the therapeutic proteins that will interfere with cancer cells and trigger apoptosis. Phagent would complement classical treatments that may be not effective to fight some types of tumor.
Go to Wiki


UGent2 Belgium
Title
Bubbly: an edible pearl for intestinal microbiome modulation

Abstract
The WHO estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Research has shown that the gut microbiome alterations play a key role in a person's stress reactivity and influences anxiety-like and depression-like behaviors. In brief, if we can manage to alter the gut microbiome's functionality, the bidirectional communication might shift and lead to less anxiety and depression-like behaviors. We believe that Bubbly can revert depression and to bring relief to people suffering from depression. Our pearl, a novel food supplement, is composed of three major components: naringenin, a flavonoid that works anti-inflammatory, kojibose, a prebiotic sugar with beneficial effects on the gut microbiome and vitamin-B12. Now, we are producing naringenin in the lab and working on the formulation of the pearl. Our pearl can be sold as an independent product and could also be added to already existing foods as probiotics. 
Go to Wiki


FSU
Title
SPLASH: Sewage Purification Limiting Antibiotic Spread in Habitats

Abstract
Antibiotic resistance is an increasing global emergency. Microorganisms continue to evolve ways to render antibiotic therapies less effective causing 2.8 million infections in the US and 750,000 deaths worldwide each year. In Florida, dolphins are serving as a sentinel species. A longitudinal study on dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon found that 88.2% of bacterial isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Resistance to erythromycin was highest among all the bacteria at 91.6%. Antibiotics are entering our environment via animal husbandry and disposal of antibiotics. We've designed an engineered E. coli that expresses EreA and EreB enzymes, which will degrade erythromycin in the secondary portion of wastewater treatment plants and a genetic system that is intended to prevent the engineered cells from escaping. Our project can be implemented in water treatment plants across the world to curb the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance.
Go to Wiki


ECNUAS
Title
Development of an Experimental Platform for Screening GR antagonist against T2DM

Abstract
T2DM is characterized by relative insulin deficiency caused by β-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. Hepatic glucose metabolism is modulated by glucocorticoid, and the effect of glucocorticoid is usually mediated by glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Increasing of glucocorticoids has the side effect of aggravating blood glucose level, and the GR antagonists have been reported to improve blood glucose level. Therefore, it is important to establish a platform for screening GR antagonists. In our study, GR transactivation assay is established to verify the antagonistic effect of drugs on GR. Dexamethasone (Dex) as a GR agonist activates reporter gene expression efficiently, and mifepristone as a GR antagonist antagonizes Dex-induced reporter gene stimulation. Success of our experiments will boost research on GR-related medication.
Go to Wiki


まとめ

いかがでしたでしょうか?
大変多くのチームが、オリジナリティ溢れたプロジェクトを行っていることがわかっていただけたかと思います。本記事では、iGEM2020に出場したチームの1/4ほどのチームしかとりあげられておりません。さらに興味をもっていただいた方は、その他のバージョンも参考にしていただけたらと思います。

第一弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第一弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第一弾~

第二弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第二弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第二弾~

第三弾はこちらから
iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第三弾~
[翻訳版] iGEM2020全チームプロジェクト概要 ~第三弾~