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Built Nano-tough A presentation brought to you by: Ben, Judy, Will Mentors: Alvin and Jose Synthetic Spider Silk Spider silk, also known as gossamer, has a tensile strength stronger than steel and is much lighter, making it very useful. The problem is it is very difficult to raise enough spiders to extract silk, so doing it with bacteria might be easier. E. coli could produce the protein (it has been placed in transgenic goats) or maybe algae if we wanted to have the cells spin it for us. Algae naturally makes colonies so maybe that could be engineered to specialize into a spinneret. Gene Therapy in Plants -Plants have a passive immune system compared to those of warmblooded animals. -One method to help cope with plant blights such as bacteria, viruses and fungi would be to insert a sequence of DNA coding antimicrobial substance Possible Vectors: -Ti Plasmid: Agrobacterium Tumafaciens -Viruses which infect plants: ex. Tobacco Mosaic Virus Possible Modifications to the Vector: -A feedback mechanism within the vector so that proteins are not overproduced. Possible Nanotube Generation The goal of this project is to utilize a biological system to fabricate nanotubes. This would address the current limitations of nanoscale structure creation and attempt to make nanotubes a more viable material for many applications. As it turns out, this project is made inherently infeasible by the toxicity of carbon nanotubes in cells. Nanotubes based on other bases will be considered, as will other nanoscale structures.