What: Synthetic biology can be used to dye blue jeans in a much more environmentally friendly way.
How: Indican, the precursor to the indigo used to dye denim blue, can be difficult to break down.
Why: Synthetic biology could be used to generate a more soluble version of indican, making blue jeans more environmentally friendly.
What: Synthetic biology can used to better target tumors during drug delivery, using E. coli.
How: E. coli can loaded with a particular drug and a protein can be expressed that will target to a specific type of tumor cell.
Why: Targeted drug delivery decreases the chances that harmful medicine is spread throughout the patient’s body.
What: Synthetic biology research is currently developing an inexpensive malaria drug to be used in impoverished nations.
How: The technique of choice will involve metabolically engineering Artemisinin to create a new metabolic pathway.
Why: This can then be used as an inexpensive malaria treatment in third world countries; furthermore, any proof of concept can be used to further metabolic engineering.
What: Synthetic Biology is being combined with fields such as microelectronics and microfluidics to enhance cellular analysis on a real-time basis.
How: Microfluidics are currently used to handle small amounts of liquids at a microscopic level. This notion can be combined with synthetic biology to better control the flow of biological medium
Why: This then results in a multitude of potential application, including genetic circuitry, biotherapeutics, and biosensor technology.
What: Synthetic biology has been used to develop an electronic nose that can detect varying agricultural and medical conditions, including certain carcinogens.
How: Scientists are currently refining biosensor technology to be used to detect various aromas. This is possible through a combination of electronic aroma detection, pattern detection through various algorithms, and a thorough understanding of synthetic biology.
Why: This can then be used for a variety of purposes, especially for the detection of various volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere, food ripeness, and various carcinogens. (VOCs).
What: Synthetic biology can be used to quickly and easily detect drug-resistant tuberculosis.
How: iGEM teams are developing phages on a handkerchief that change color when tuberculosis is present.
Why: Quick and easy detection of tuberculosis is important for curing patients quickly.
What: Synthetic biology can be used to make vegan cheese and make our food source more sustainable.
How: Genes used to create milk are replicated and placed in yeast, which then generate the milk.
Why: This process could eliminate the need for cows, which leave a huge carbon footprint.