Team:Austin UTexas LASA

Project Description

Organophosphates are a class of chemical compounds commonly used as pesticides that have also been used as chemical warfare agents (CWAs). Common organophosphate pesticides include glyphosate, a controversial pesticide that the Agency for Research on Cancer declared “a probable human carcinogen." Our team is currently working on creating a bacteria that will assist in the degradation of organophosphates, a class of chemical compounds used in many chemical weapons and insecticides. Organophosphates are not only highly dangerous to humans as nerve agents but their prevalent use in insecticides is also a threat to the environment due to many adverse effects and a very slow degradation rate. We believe that in our project we can create a bacteria that will help in creating a safer environment for us and our loved ones and the life around us as well. So far, we have found pathways that can degrade many organophosphates, including sarin, glyphosate and paraoxon, into a product, para-nitrophenol (PNP) that we can then use to go into the Beta-Kap pathway. The Beta-Ketoadipate pathway is useful in converting aromatic compounds into food sources for bacteria. The Beta-Kap pathway will be useful in degrading the PNP resultant from our bacteria’s initial degradation of organophosphates.

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