Some of you may have read a recent New Yorker linkurl:expose ;http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mueller?currentPage=1about adulterated olive oil -- in my family of cooks, it caused quite a panic. Well, one of the iGEM teams just presented a solution, and appropriately, it's the team from Naples, Italy. The problem, they say, is that currently all the quality control methods for olive oil are done by large expensive machines. Technically, for an olive oil to be classified extra virgin, it must have an oleic acid level below 0.8%. Ordinary olive oil must stay below 3.3%, and anything above that is just not fit for human consumption. They provide an appropriately small and cheap solution in the form of a yeast sensor for oleic acid. They built a system in which two transcription factors are differentially activated by a promoter -- one is activated by low oleic levels and one activated by high oleic levels....
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