Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy (Canmore)
Plastic Picker – our project uses synthetic biology to create a novel fusion protein that can specifically bio-tag polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic
|Team Grade Level:||High School|
|STEM Focus:||Synthetic Biology|
Our project involves two proteins; PET hydrolase (PET-ase) and a hydrophobin called BsIA, that are produced via a bacterial chassis called Bacillus subtilis. The PET-ase enzyme binds to PET and is fused to a red fluorescent protein called mCherry, visually indicating when the adhesion occurs. The hydrophobin is designed to be used in conjunction with the PET-ase mCherry fusion protein, as it is “water-fearing” and will help to bind the PET-ase to PET plastic. Overall, the solution will create an efficient, cost-effective, and specific marker to tackle the global crisis of plastic pollution by color bio-tagging plastic for sorting.