Upgrading estrogen degradation in wastewater

by Michael White

16:00 (40 min) in USB 4.005

Waste hormones from medications and farming can accumulate in natural water systems and cause serious problems with the native aquatic life.
Part of the NUFEB project is to examine the possibility of using modern genetic techniques to improve the ability of bacteria to remove contaminating estrogens. A group of newly isolated bacterial laccase enzymes from the arctic circle may offer a way of inactivating these hormones at cold temperatures, which would offer a significant improvement over all the enzymes currently being studied. We are also examining ways in which the CRISPR-Cas9 system can be used to insert these enzymes into strains of bacteria already present in the water treatment system.