CH391L/S12/Artemisinic Acid Engineering
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Artemisia is a genus that encompass a broad range of plants commonly known as sagebrush, sagewort, and wormwood. The family, which derives its name from the either from the Greek goddess Artemis or Artemisia, the wife of Mausolus, includes many famous plants. Artemisia absinthium is used in the production of Absinthe, and Shakespeare employed wormwood as a cure for the love potion in Midsummer's Night Dream. One species of Artemisia, known as Artemsiai annua, has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicines to cure headaches.
This last species is of particular interest to synthetic biologists, due to its ability to produce Artemisinin. As a result, much of the species' genes have been characterized and submitted to the Gene Bank.
In a famous paper released by Ro et al., Saccharomyces cerevisiae was engineered to produce artemisinic acid from simple sugars.
Previous iGEM Examples
There has been no incidence of previous iGEM teams investigating Artemisinin or any of its precursors. Many iGEM teams have referenced Ro et al., but only as an example of pathway engineering, or in order to discuss ethics and synthetic biology's potential to positively benefit society. No parts in the parts registry deals with Artemisinin either. Only one [set of parts] mentions a protein, Granulysin, which can potentially be used to fight Malaria.
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