Well the iGEM wiki-freeze is upon us and Team:Exeter managed to put the final touches to their wiki with 9 minutes to spare. Please follow the link (here) or click on the logo below to find out more about their project.
Here’s a brief introduction to their project, e-candi – engineering the 4th polymer of life, in which they investigated how synthetic biology could revolutionise the field of glycobiology:
Polysaccharides – polymers of sugar molecules – have a spectacular range of properties and uses, from the structural (cellulose) and medicinal (bacterial vaccines, cyclodextrin) to foods (starch), glues (levan) and lubricants (hyaluronan (HA)). This range of properties stem from both the chemical nature of the sugars, their physical arrangement within the polymer and the macro-scale arrangement of the polymer itself.
Currently, scientific research relies on the study of polysaccharides isolated from their native source and subsequent modification, or on expensive, time-consuming and potentially environmentally-polluting production via synthetic chemistry.
This project, e-candi, aims to investigate whether synthetic biology could provide a platform to revolutionise polysaccharide research by allowing rapid biosynthesis of designer polysaccharides.
Well done to all the team, next step, Amsterdam!