This year’s iGEM team won two prizes with their method for detecting gene doping, called ADOPE (Advanced Detection of Performance Enhancement). With their project, they won 2 prizes: best product design and best new application.
The Applied Sciences students have developed a new protein themselves that can detect gene-doping DNA in blood and then add a kind of barcode to that DNA. The added barcode is specific to the athlete and ensures that only the detected gene-doping DNA can be read, using existing nanopore technology. The protein that the students created for this purpose is a fusion of two existing proteins. “One of the proteins is part of the CRISPR-Cas family, a family of proteins that can cut and paste with DNA. We program this so-called dxCas9 protein to go in search of the gene-doping DNA. The other protein adds the barcode, enabling it to be read using so-called nanopores, tiny holes through which DNA can be threaded. This produces an electric signal that is specific to the doping DNA and can be read on a computer screen” says Lisa Büller, manager of the team.
S.V.N.B. Hooke would like to offer our congratulations to the entire team, but especially to the Nanobiology student on the team: Jard Mattens. You can read more about their project on their website.
Source: TU Delft communications