Notre Dame Collegiate Synthetic Biology

Project Summary

This year NDC is working to engineer a bacteria that can detect levels of oxybenzone in sunscreen and/or water sources. Oxybenzone is a chemical that is associated with an increase of the bleaching of the coral reefs and could be harmful to children and pregnant women.

We are creating a system which uses a receptor that, when bound with oxybenzone, will fluoresce and/or emit an electrical signal that we can measure to see how much oxybenzone is present. Consumers/companies could use this to detect safe levels and in the future it could be used to guide remediation attempts.

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