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The Next Generation’s Life Science

 

It is almost 2020 and life sciences, specifically the field of synthetic biology, have never been more exciting. The scientific and technological advancements that have been made are incredible. Just look at the CRISPR technology and its application that, for better or worse, advanced enormously this year.

 

But what does the next generation of scientists, the current students, think about the important trends in life sciences? What projects are they interested in?

 

Enter the prestigious international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition 

 

What is iGEM?

 

iGEM is a worldwide competition in the field of synthetic biology. Teams of young scientists compete with each other by working on projects to push the boundaries of synthetic biology and technology in order to find creative and innovative solutions for issues that the world faces every day.

 

After iGEM’s founding in 2003 at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the number of teams that participate in the competition grew quickly from 5 to more than 300… 300 teams from more than 40 countries! From 31st October until 4th November 2019, the winners of the competition are selected during the “Giant Jamboree” in Boston, USA.

 

But first we would like to introduce some European iGEM teams and their fascinating and future-oriented projects. 

The first team is from Dresden University of Technology - iGEM TU Dresden 2019 - and has two projects:

 

1. “Sweet Spirulina” aims is to produce miraculin, a low caloric sugar substitute, in Spirulina and establish new standards for the engineering of Spirulina. Read more about the Sweet Spirulina project.

 

 

2. “DipGene” aims to develop a tool for detecting any nucleic acid sequence of interest in microbial samples and human cells with gene-sensitive paper-strips. Read more about the DipGene project.

The second group is the iGEM team Düsseldorf

 

They aim to synthesise cow’s milk by heterologous expression of cow’s milk components in microorganisms and simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas. Read about their project called Milk 2.0 is here: SynMylk - Carbon Efficient, Tasty and Produced in the Lab

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