Team:UFAM-UEA Brazil




Mercury is a highly toxic metal which is present in our everyday-life. In Amazon, mercury is widely used in industries and mining. Due to the absence of a strict regulation, it’s estimated that there are about 3000 tons of mercury contaminating Amazon's biodiversity and native populations. Our main goal is to develop revolutionary bioremediation methods, structured as: design and characterization of new promoters regulated by MerR; Mer operon expression improvement; a synthetic phytochelatin and it's expression in the outer membrane; first iGEM genome sequencing of a mercury resistant bacteria from Amazon. As second part of our design we built the first (real!) bioreactor to treat mercury contaminated water using our chassis carrying our synthetic genetic circuits! We achieved the ultimate proof of concept and it was the first step to have this SynBio system working out there in the real world. Beyond the bench, we grounded our efforts on an integrated outreach by raising discussions between governmental entities. We reached stakeholders who had the chance to know more about mercury issues in Amazon! From kids to prosecutors and politicians; from high school grounds to collegiate students; featuring biobricks in genetic engineering subject; we did shake the structures of traditional teaching with our fun and efficient methods spreading the word of synthetic biology! Check this out!