Dr. Jan van der Meer begins by giving an introduction to synthetic biology. Through this introduction to synthetic biology, he explains that DNA and protein “parts” can be put together to form biological circuits in a manner analogous to making electrical circuits from transformers, capacitors, and the like. These circuits can be designed for many applications in health and agriculture etc. van der Meer concludes his talk by describing work from his lab to engineer biosensor bacteria that can measure toxic compounds in the environment. For example, a simple system of a bacterial cell, which glows in the presence of arsenic, can be used to test drinking water in Bangladesh for high levels of arsenic.
Jan van der Meer is a professor at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in the Department of Fundamental Microbiology. Previous to his appointment in Lausanne, he worked as group leader at the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Research (Eawag). Dr. van der Meer received his PhD from the Wageningen University and Research Centre, and completed… Continue Reading