Lethbridge High School (Lethbridge)
Biofilms and BEEyond – tackling biofilms and colony collapse disorder
|Team Grade Level:||High School|
|STEM Focus:||Synthetic Biology|
Bees A phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is destroying bee colonies worldwide. One factor contributing to CCD is the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which feeds on bee larva. Current methods used to control V.destructor are inefficient and resistance is developing in treated populations. Using synthetic biology, we designed E.coli that produce the miticide oxalic acid in the bee gut. This method targets V.destructor by directly delivering oxalic acid into the mites, creating mite-proof bee populations. Biofilms Bacterial biofilms are the cause of 65% of all hospital acquired infections. Biofilms grow on surfaces of surgical tools and medical implants and are composed of a plaque of bacteria hidden in a matrix of extracellular DNA and sugars. Currents methods used to destroy biofilms are expensive, harsh, and often ineffective. We have created a cocktail of Nuclease and Dextranase designed to degrade the biofilm matrix, allowing for the safe elimination of biofilms.
iGEM Medal Achieved: Bronze