iGEM is the biggest student competition in synthetic biology worldwide. Every year a new team is put together that works on a clever solution to a societal problem using the molecular tools of our field of study. As Nanobiology students, they fit exceptionally well in this team, with this year even having nine nanobiologists participate. Participation in iGEM is an excellent opportunity to put your gained knowledge to practice and get experience with working in a team, taking leadership and working in the lab. Next year you could be participating!
After successes with the do-it-yourself 3D biofilm printer (2015) and biological lenses and lasers (2016), they are working on antibiotic resistance detection this year. Nowadays, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development. The team wants to make a cheap system that can detect antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. This way, they can improve the targeted use of antibiotics minimizing further spread of antibiotic resistance. They aim to achieve this with a protein that was recently characterized: Cas13a. In order to develop their system they engineer bacteria to produce Cas13a. This protein needs to be extracted to use on their device. The purification process is very expensive because of all the necessary lab equipment. They require your help to be able to do this and thus ask for a small donation to make their research possible! As reward you will get your own E. Coli cartoon on their Facebook page and website!
Find the crowdfunding page and more information about their project here: