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iGEM 2009

More than 100 teams are registered for the 2009 annual, global undergraduate competition in synthetic biology. Nine of them are from the UK.

They are spending the summer months working to create new and innovative devices using biological parts from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts.

Follow their progress on their wikis...

The Aberdeen team is working to build a ‘Pico-Plumber’, an engineered strain of E. coli that will hopefully be able to detect and fix leaking pipes:

Bristol is attempting to express proteins in bacterial outer membrane vesicles for the purposes of ‘digital’ communication, swarm immunity and pattern formation:

Cambridge is aiming to engineer E. coli to produce a range of pigments, hopefully a useful tool for future iGEM teams and synthetic biology projects:

The Edinburgh team is working on a land-mine detection and bioremediation device:

Imperial College London is working on a novel way of delivering peptide drugs to the gut:

Newcastle’s project is called ‘BacMan’, and is attempting to engineer Bacillus subtilis to soak up the heavy metal cadmium from contaminated soils and lock it away:

Sheffield are keeping their project under wraps for now...

Southampton are also keeping us in suspense...

UCL’s project is focused on BioReactors:

Note: This year’s iGEM Jamboree will be held from Friday 30 October to Monday 2 November at MIT. For details, see the iGEM website.