As the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the project plans to investigate microbial membranes and develop improved strains for biotechnology, one of the team turned her skills to a more creative project. Naomi Wilkinson, MeMBrane scientist, wrote a children’s book about the citizen science project ‘SuperYeast’.
The story describes how Dr Goddard’s team collect yeast samples from citizens around the world and test them to see if one can withstand the stresses of biofuel production. Beautifully illustrated by another MeMBrane scientist, Sarah Routledge, this book reveals how ingenuity, teamwork and perseverance save the day!
The book is available on the project website to download: www.membrane.org.uk/news-and-events/
The overall aim of the MeMBrane project is to improve the tolerance of microbes to the stresses encountered during industrial bioprocesses by modifying the cell membranes. Working with yeast and Propionibacterium, the project uses synthetic biology to progress and exploit our understanding of the toxicity challenges to improve efficiency and product yield of engineered cell-based factories. The SuperYeast citizen science project was developed by the MeMBrane team and the results will soon be added to the leader board on the MeMBrane website.
MeMBrane is a 3-year project funded by ERA CoBioTech with a multidisciplinary consortium of academics, industrial partners and subcontractors from across Europe. The project is led by Dr Alan Goddard from Aston University (UK).