Tom suggested we spend time contemplating potential uses of polysaccharides, in a future where, having proved you could make any polysaccharide, people do. Here is my list:
-The principle component of unicorn horns, imbued with particular dazzlement.
-To make the flowing hair of the unicorn more shiny and wondrous.
-To harden the hoof of the unicorn like a diamond, that it may gallop forth and spread its beauty and joy across the earth!
-To elucidate the value of the Common Agricultural Policy for me.
-Anything that can help make a more lustrous unicorn.
All the other bioscientist iGEMers spend a lot of time imagining their future PhDs and asking me if I’m going to do one. My answer is Most Probably Not, unless it gives me the chance to make a unicorn.
Since unicorns don’t currently exist (to my immense chagrin) I don’t know what I can suggest which is of current use. Polysaccharides already do everything, so where am I expected to start? They cure cancer, give eternal (facial) youth, stop pathogenic diseases, ulcers, diarrhoea, are used as building materials, increase immunity, I’m pretty certain they can be used to increase food security, water purity, love and harmony between all peoples of the earth etcetera etcetera. There’s even a lady making jackets out of polysaccharides (she’s called Suzanne Lee, Google her. As a dressmaker myself, I think this is marvellous). She desperately wishes you could make that bacterial-spun cellulose a dab more hydrophobic. What a shame you can’t. YET.
Here is my suggestion, Tom: slightly more hydrophobic cellulose. Or a hydrophobic polysaccharide to put on cellulose. Or, actually, to rephrase that:
-What they currently do, but better, and not limited by bioavailability.
I totally believe, in spite of not coming up with a suggestion more brilliant than unicorns (although unicorns are brilliant) I have just given the smart-Alec answer which ensures my homework is done. Excellent.