This E-Team developed an improved high pressure research device for biotechnology research markers. The project focused on the development of an improved, simpler, more cost-effective and user friendly device capable of competing with current equipment.
This grant supports the development of a new Masters degree in Science and Entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University. The program seeks to help students launch new products or ventures by having them go through the process of preparing a technical business idea. The Masters degree consists of a three-part curriculum covering the student's scientific area of interest, technical innovation and opportunity, and integrated business skills. Students must complete a technical internship as well as capstone project. The main emphasis of the program is on biotechnology and environmental science, two areas of strength at the university and local industry.
Water scarcity is the biggest challenge of the 21st century, and proper wastewater treatment is critical to public and environmental health because it protects and recycles the limited supply of fresh water. Throughout the world, billions of gallons of industrial and domestic sewage are treated in centralized wastewater facilities through the acceleration of natural biodegradation processes, relying on a balance of healthy microbes for optimal performance. This E-Team developed an innovative biotechnology system to monitor and diagnose common microbiological problems that interfere with the reclamation of wastewater in sewage treatment plants worldwide. Problems often result from undesired blooms of microbes, but many microbes do not yield to cultivation, the traditional method of identification. The team's DNA sequence-based technology allows microbes to be detected and identified without cultivation to determine relative quantities in a sample. Once problem microbes are identified, treatment plants can design and apply the appropriate remedy with quantitative information from the team's Biotechnology System.