Mutant Bacteria… Can They Do It Better?

I really enjoyed the chalk talks this week and having the opportunity to present a snippet of my own research as well as learn more about my peers research. Of all the amazing presentations, one that really fascinated me was the research of Ella Gunady.

Ella is working in a Bass Connections Lab with Dr. Jason Somarelli on creating a mutant bacteria that can efficiently consume plastic. Aside from doing exciting work with real world applications that change how waste remains in our environment, I found the setup of Ella’s talk very easy to understand. Despite working in an entirely different field and realm form my own research, I was easily able to follow along with the explanations Ella gave us due to the sufficient background and great illustrations that she used.

In detail, Ella will be creating a library of mutant bacteria that can consume plastics and micro-plastics through an application of error-prone PCR on the bacteria that already degrades plastics naturally. After creating this library, Ella will be testing the efficiency of each of these mutants through exposure different environment compositions to identify the best candidate. The findings of this research will have significant implications for the environment, especially in communities that have high levels of waste.

In all, I cannot wait to see how all of my peers research translates into interesting   presentations as the end of the program!

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