ENGINEERING PATHWAYS TO VISUALIZE UV DNA DAMAGE
We are building a genetic device, UVisualize, that exports a visual indicator of DNA damage upon UV radiation. This device takes advantage of the natural DNA repair mechanism in E. coli, the nucleotide excision repair (NER), and incorporates GFP into the sequence to be expressed in conjunction.
UVisualize isn’t like other UV sensors. Rather than measuring the amount of general UV radiation in a space, UVisualize correlates the amount of UV exposure to DNA damage caused by UV. Currently, we plan to implement UVisaluze in educational toolkits to help demonstrate the impact of UV radiation on a cellular level. For the future, UVisualize has the potential to be expanded and incorporated into personalized medicines and treatments or to analyze general patterns in geographical areas.