23 Aug

New paper on autonomous systems for mercury sequestration published


Congrats to Richie and Peter on the publication of their manuscript “A Synthetic Circuit for Mercury Bioremediation Using Self-Assembling Functional Amyloids” in ACS Synthetic Biology! The paper describes our progress in repurposing biofilms as living programmable materials. The focus on the paper is on demonstrating a self-regulating engineered microbial system that produces an extracellular matrix material for binding to mercury ions in the environment. The self-regulation is important for longevity so that the cells can switch “on” matrix production when mercury levels are high, and switch it “off” when they are low, enabling it to survive in environments where mercury levels fluctuate. This work has potential applications in bioremediation.

Check out a highlight of our work on the Wyss website.

23 Aug

New paper on catalytic biofilms published

Nussbaumer 2017 TOCNussbaumer 2017 TOCPrint

Congrats to Martin, Peter, Richie, and Zsofia on the publication of their manuscript “Bootstrapped biocatalysis: biofilm derived materials as reversibly functionalizable multi-enzyme surfaces” in ChemCatChem! The paper describes our progress on developing catalytic biofilm-based materials that can streamline biotransformation processes. The material we report can immobilize multiple enzymes simultaneously, without the need for expensive purifications or chemical modifications. This allows it to recapitulate multi-step cellular processes outside the cell. The work has potential applications in the manufacture of biofuels, specialty chemicals (vitamins, fragrances, sweeteners, etc.), and pharmaceuticals.

Check out a highlight of our work on the Wyss website.

03 Nov

Congrats to the 2016 Harvard iGEM team!


The team of 8 Harvard undergrads and 4 graduate mentors presented their project at the iGEM Jamboree last weekend. The team’s project, Plastiback, focused on degrading ocean plastic and converting the byproducts into an electrical current in order to create a global map of ocean plastic. They achieved gold medal status for their accomplishments and  received an honorable mention in the Environmental track of the competition.