A WID Frontier Fellows group is one of 24 selected by Popular Science magazine’s #CrowdGrant Challenge. The challenge highlights the “biggest, boldest science and technology project ideas,” encouraging public support to help make them happen. (Support this project).
The goal of the Biobulb is to create an ecosystem in a jar. The ecosystem will consist of several different microbes, each of which plays a role in nutrient recycling and population control. The result is a closed ecosystem that will sustain itself with the addition of light. The system will support a population of genetically engineered E. coli. These bacteria will be genetically modified for bioluminescence. The result, the student group says, will be a stable, closed, microbial ecosystem that glows in the dark.
Fellows plan on experimenting with different bioluminescence proteins to determine which species’ native genes produce the best glow in E. coli. They also plan to experiment with techniques to combat mutation as well as examine different colored light emission and triggers for the activation of the glowing bacteria.
Visit the group’s RocketHub page to learn more and support the project.