Research Spotlight: Dyeing Cloth with Bacteria

In light of the ongoing disruption that Coronavirus poses to our lives, which includes the cancellation of our annual MST Research Symposium, we are publishing a series of posts on MST students and their research that have been peer selected for excellence.

We asked each group selected to give us info on their abstract, the biggest takeaway from their project study, and something they are excited about for the upcoming year, as well as a few photos.  This post covers the work done by MST freshmen Anabel Jiang and Lena Trieu.

Abstract: There’s an issue with the current fashion industry, millions of gallons of toxic wastewater from dyeing clothes are released each year, polluting our waterways and surrounding environments. To combat this, scientists are looking into natural and environmentally friendly dye alternatives, that are also colorfast and produce a wide array of colors. We tested with the bacteria Micrococcus luteus, a yellow, carotenoid pigment-producing species. By using different growing and application techniques on both cotton and silk, we attempted to find an efficient and effective method that would be more applicable to large scale practices. By doing this, we are taking one step closer to a sustainable cloth dyeing future. Read about their findings here: Dyeing Cloth with Bacteria

When asked about their biggest takeaways from their project study this year, they said it “… was probably that choosing a project that you are really passionate about and genuinely interested in is really important, and if you put in the effort and time, you can achieve a lot, possibly more than you originally expected”

As for next year, they said, “We are probably most excited about being able to continue looking into various research projects, whether they are related to our current project or not. It will be really interesting to explore new ideas and be able to use and apply the skills we learned this year to next year.”

Permanent link to this article: