Whole-cell living biosensors—are they ready for environmental application?
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Since the development of the first whole-cell living biosensor or bioreporter about 15 years ago, construction and testing of new genetically modified microorganisms for environmental sensing and reporting has proceeded at an ever increasing rate. One and a half decades appear as a reasonable time span for a new technology to reach the maturity needed for application and commercial success. It seems, however, that the research into cellular biosensors is still mostly in a proof-of-principle or demonstration phase and not close to extensive or commercial use outside of academia. In this review, we consider the motivations for bioreporter developments and discuss the suitability of extant bioreporters for the proposed applications to stimulate complementary research and to help researchers to develop realistic objectives. This includes the identification of some popular misconceptions about the qualities and shortcomings of bioreporters.
KeywordsArsenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Arsenite Signalling Chain Chemical Flux
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