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Full Stream Name: Hijacking Microbial Factories for Synthetic Biology 

Research Educator: Dennis Mishler

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey Barrick

Credit Options: Spring & Fall

Microorganisms are the unparalleled masters of building and breaking down chemical compounds. Can we reprogram bacteria so that they perform functions that are beneficial to society?   
Microbe Hackers conducts research in the field of synthetic biology.  We manipulate the DNA instructions for bacteria through genetic engineering.  By doing this, we reprogram bacteria to serve a purpose of our choosing.  Previous examples of this approach include creating bacteria that are addicted to caffeine, and using these bacteria to accurately measure the caffeine content of beverages.  Students will first learn how to do this sort of genetic manipulation and then move on to conduct research on an already existing project or begin a new project.  Students from this stream will have the opportunity to compete on the UT Austin iGEM team

The Microbe Hackers Website contains more information about their research, the course, and the Microbe Hackers community.
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Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Pre-Med, Public Health