Mei Lu finds a remedy to the two mega problems of the 21st century
Mei Lu, a recently emerged research group, finds potential treatment for the junction of two vast issues of the current century. The two issues that Mei Lu solved are; aging populations and climate change.
First, let's discuss what these issues are and what're their impacts on the world;
Over the past 50 years, the standard global temperature has increased at the fastest recorded history rate. And experts begin to see the trend is accelerating: All but one of many 16 hottest years in NASA's 134-year record have occurred since 2000.
Global warming happens when co2 (CO2) and other air pollutants and greenhouse gases acquire in the atmosphere and absorb sunshine and solar radiation, which have bounced down the earth's surface. Generally, this radiation could escape into space—but these pollutants can benefit decades to ages in the atmosphere, trap the heat and trigger the world to own hotter. That's what's known as the greenhouse effect.
Scientists agree that the earth's rising temperatures are fueling longer and hotter heat waves, more frequent droughts, heavier rainfall, and stronger hurricanes. The influences of international warming are increasingly being thought about across the globe. Extreme heatwaves have caused 1000s of deaths throughout the world in recent years.
When Mei Lu's research group requested her to browse the masses of leaves in several quantities of atmospheric pollution, she has no idea the investigation would result in a novel treatment for the intersection of two mega problems of the 21st century - aging populations and climate change.
The college sophomore, who studied economics and biology with a focus on environmental sustainability, took care of an investigation paper on leaf mass of woody plants in several atmospheric pollution levels. This was when she noticed that certain forms of leaves were better at absorbing CO2 than others. By using stochastic simulations—an instrument for costing likelihood distributions of possible outcomes—Lu will find a schedule on the list of genes moved by the plants better at ingesting co2 (CO2).
Understanding she was to anything major, Lu analyzed 60,000 gene candidates, ultimately getting 500 combinations of critical genes from various microbes and bacteria that she could test. The goal was to have which genes worked together most effectively to absorb CO2.
By using full-cell modeling, Lu created a cell design integrating these genes and believed improvements in cell design, cell size, cell form, and moment of chromosome synthesis in a reaction to carbon sequestration.
In regards to the effect, Lu created a novel, original microbe that she called YColi-200. The microbe's name shows its origins in genes from fungus, E. coli, and 200 other genes.
To produce YColi-200, Lu started with her small cell design and used computational gene-editing tools such as, for instance, CRISPR-associated nuclease Cas9 to create the microbe. First, she recognized E. coli and fungus's overlapping genes, then she erased and disabled genes in equally E.coli and yeast's mitochondria; therefore, they may mix into one microbe. Next, She included 200 essential genes to improve carbon intake. Centered on her behalf model's check benefits, YColi-200 is approximately twelve times better at capturing co2 (CO2) than fungus or E-coli on its own. And when testing the behavior of YColi-200, she noticed strange behavior that can expand the individual lifespan.
The newly created mitochondria of YColi-200 produced less reactive air species (ROS) than E. coli and yeast. ROS is an all-natural-product of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production. However, they damage several critical cell signaling pathways during oxidative stress and damage DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), proteins, and fatty acids. This is revealed to be among the main processes related to aging-related health decline.
YColi-200's low ROS production could be explained by its increased transcription of genes related to ROS scavenging, increased physiological uncoupling, increased energy metabolism in the mitochondria, and decreased expression of genes to signal transduction, stress response. Many of these previously listed factors can extend cell lifespan—around 700x in yeast, as shown by many studies completed yet. Lu is in the process of more practical lab testing to see if these characteristics of YColi-200 may cause an improved lifetime on her behalf microbe.
Meanwhile, Mei is excited to explore the promising signs shown in the mitochondria of YColi-200 and whether those signs may unlock a solution to aging. Furthermore, She also desires to see YColi-200 get commercialized. She's generated an enhanced planting soil that will have a way to recapture 380% more co2 (CO2) than regular soil. She currently has approved patents, friends, and two angel investors backing this startup.
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Last Update : Feb 23, 2021 11:07 AM
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