Pollution of our oceans is devastating for nature, wildlife and in the end humans, but thankfully Netlantis is working on a solution to some of the problems: A biodegradable fishing net made of proteins.
With a growing world population, more and more pressure is placed on the fishing industry which exacerbates the pollution generated in the oceans. Ghost fishing nets are detrimental to ocean ecosystems and sources of micro-plastic pollutants, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year, including protected species like turtles. In fact, 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a vast collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean, consists of fishing nets and lines.
An additional issue is posed by the fragmentation of fishing nets through photo-degradation and abrasion, which results in the release of a variety of microplastics in the aquatic environment. This contributes to the bioaccumulation of plastics in the food web, as demonstrated by a recent study that found worrying levels of microplastics in human blood. This has potentially serious consequences for humans since microplastics in the blood may lead to an array of health issues. Therefore, the threat posed by non-degradable fishing nets to the environment is multifaceted.
Join us for this event with Netlantis who are trying to solve some of these problems by developing a novel biopolymer composite to substitute the commonly used materials for making fishing nets such as nylon, polyethylene, polyester, and PVDC. The ultimate goal is to prevent more ghost nets from ending up in the ocean and subsequently reduce the microplastic pollution of the ocean and hence, our food. They plan to do this by making a sustainable, biodegradable fishing net made of proteins. They will produce an array of proteins using Escherichia coli as a chassis and different combinations of these proteins would be used to form a sustainable fibre.
At the event, Netlantis will tell us about their research and work, and we will network over a sandwich during the event, while we root for Netlantis to win a prize at the iGEM Grand Jamboree later this year.
Netlantis is this year’s iGEM team for the University of Copenhagen. Since November 2021, they have been independently developing their idea, exploring funding sources and collaboration opportunities with the backing team of outstanding scientific supervisors from the Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Biochemical Engineering lab at the University of Copenhagen. The team is united by their passion for the emerging field of Synthetic Biology, merging advanced scientific methods with an entrepreneurial mindset to develop innovative concepts.
The iGEM Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition, and the development of an open, collaborative, and cooperative community. At the iGEM Grand Jamboree students, academics, investors, industry reps, journalists, and the public will convene for a 3-day world expo of synthetic biology in Paris, France. 350+ iGEM teams will present their projects to the world, and on the final day, the top projects will be celebrated with prizes and medals.
Please note that there is a no show fee of DKK 150 if you register for the event but do not show up (and don't cancel your attendance no later than the 24th of September).
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