Monday, 14 October 2013

Congrats 2013 MQ iGEM team

Congratulations to the 2013 Macquarie iGEM team for winning a Silver medal, as well as Special Awards for Best Poster and Best Mascot at the Asia Region Jamboree in Hong Kong! The  International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is a worldwide Synthetic Biology competition for teams of undergraduate students, where they try to build biological systems from standard, interchangeable parts and operate them in living cells. This year there were 204 University teams competing from all around the world.

This is the fourth year Macquarie has entered a team in the competition, and so far we've won three Silver medals and one Bronze medal. We've also been the top Australian team in the competition in each of the four years! Last year's team won a Silver medal for their work on engineeering a light sensitive genetic switch. This year's successful project was "Green is the new Black- expression of chlorophyll within Escherichia coli", where our team of 22 students successfully expressed many of the genes required for chlorophyll biosynthesis in E. coli, with the longer term goal of making a photosynthetic E.coli that could be used in bioenergy production. I'd like to say fantastic job to all of the team and their tireless advisors Dr Louise Brown and Associate Professor Rob Willows.

The Macquarie students also presented their work at the Second Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research and won a $500 prize for Best Presentation in Plant Science or Molecular Biology.

The green and charismatic Chlorophyll Man, winner of best team mascot
The successful MQ iGEM team in Hong Kong with their award winning poster

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