Presented by Shanghai_SFLS_SPBS
Crystal Liu1, Olivia Feng2, Monique Wang2, Kevin Bao3, Chuwen Cheng1, Ivy Ding2, Chenyu Gu1, Oscar Hang4, Olive Li5, John Ling6, Jeff Shan7, Minhao Qin8, Chang Yuan2, Mingjiu Zhao1, Ken Zhu9, Jiaheng Li§, Jianzhao Yang10, Cris Ding11, Boqin Yang12, Xinyue Yu§, Shiyuan Li§
1Shanghai Foreign Language School affiliated to SISU, 2Shanghai Pinghe Bilingual School, 3Qibao Dwight High School, 4the Hun School of Princeton, 5Guanghua Cambridge International School, 6Strathallan School from Scotland, 7Stevenson School, 8the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, 9Cranbrook Kingswood School in Michigan, 10Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11Imperial College London, 12Ross School, §Bluepha Co., Ltd.
Hair-dyeing is becoming increasingly popular, and the demand for harmless dyes is constantly rising. However, more common synthetic dyes may damage the hair cortex and cause allergies. Despite increasing attention to natural dyes, its production is limited and products are expensive. We propose using engineered bacteria to mass-produce natural, harmless hair dyes. We successfully synthesized melanin, indigo, dopaxanthin, and indoline-betacyanin and dyed hair into black, blue, and red. We used Vibrio natriegens to increase the rate of production. V. natriegens could produce melanin faster than E. coli. Furthermore, considering that synthetic dyes are composed of oxidants and pigment precursors, we envisage combining oxidases and pigment precursors to dye hair. We have expressed bacterial laccase and tested its activity. Next, we will try to optimize dyeing protocols and discuss the safety aspects of potential products. If successful, our products could bring dramatic changes to the market and introduce substantial social benefits.