Title

The Cure to Skin Cancer: A Metabolic Approach

Presenter Information

Peter Haw

Department

Biological Sciences

Major

Biological Sciences

Research Advisor

Westenberg, David J.

Advisor's Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Mycosporines are naturally synthesized metabolites found in bacteria that are constantly exposed to sunlight. The mycosporines help to absorb UV radiation and therefore, keep the UV radiation from disrupting the DNA of the cell. Although our skin is host to many different bacteria, none of them produce mycosporines. There are three genes responsible for producing the mycosporine in the cyanobacterium, Nostoc punctiforme. Using a plasmid as a vector, these genes will be transferred to Staphylococcus epidermidis, a natural inhabitant of human skin. The S. epidermidis will then be able to produce their own mycosporine. Applying the S. epidermidis to our skin via a lotion, we will be protected from harmful UV radiation. Horizontal gene transfer on our skin could lead to more bacteria producing the mycosporines and thus, a greater UV protection.

Biography

Peter is a junior at Missouri S&T. His fascination with microbiology lies in the application of microbes in our daily life. He is a captain of the men’s varsity soccer team here at school and spends much of his time playing the sport. Peter maintains a high GPA while also being involved in extracurriculars.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

10 Apr 2012, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

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Apr 10th, 9:00 AM Apr 10th, 11:45 AM

The Cure to Skin Cancer: A Metabolic Approach

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Mycosporines are naturally synthesized metabolites found in bacteria that are constantly exposed to sunlight. The mycosporines help to absorb UV radiation and therefore, keep the UV radiation from disrupting the DNA of the cell. Although our skin is host to many different bacteria, none of them produce mycosporines. There are three genes responsible for producing the mycosporine in the cyanobacterium, Nostoc punctiforme. Using a plasmid as a vector, these genes will be transferred to Staphylococcus epidermidis, a natural inhabitant of human skin. The S. epidermidis will then be able to produce their own mycosporine. Applying the S. epidermidis to our skin via a lotion, we will be protected from harmful UV radiation. Horizontal gene transfer on our skin could lead to more bacteria producing the mycosporines and thus, a greater UV protection.