iGEM Team Sponsorship
The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is the largest competition of students in the field of synthetic biology. Every Spring since 2004, interdisciplinary teams from all over the world are formed who design and build biological systems that address a pressing environmental, scientific or societal need. They all have one goal, receiving one the Gold Medals at the Giant Jamboree held in Boston, MA in October.
Arbor Biosciences identifies with the hard work, passion and heart that all participating students put into their projects. By connecting with young professionals training to be the next generation of scientists and innovators, we recognize their commitment to improve and develop the scientific world.
We’re excited about the Giant Jamboree on October 31 – November 4, 2019 in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. We will attend the 2020 event.
2019 Sponsored Teams
We were proud to support the following iGEM Teams in last years’ competition with our versatile myTXTL® Cell-Free Expression platform. Visit their team pages to learn more about their thrilling projects.
Team Paris-Bettencourt – France
STAR CORES: Protein scaffolds for star-shaped AMPs
The Paris-Bettencourt team employs an E. coli-based cell-free expression platform to produce naturally occurring or artificially designed anti-microbial peptides (AMPs) to combat rising antibiotic resistance. These AMPs will be fused to self-assembling star-shaped scaffold proteins to improve their bactericidal efficiency against various infection-causing bacteria. The work will include a screening of various AMPs and scaffold protein complexes, followed by a selection of the best AMP/scaffold combinations in terms of bactericidal property and bio-compatibility.
Team Northwestern – United States
Heavy Metal Detection Using Cell-Free Biosensors
The Northwestern team develops a testing system to detect and measure heavy metal pollution occurring in the waters of Lake Michigan due to the steel industry. This testing system will utilize cell-free expression technology dried on paper to execute genetic circuits that will trigger a visible colorimetric change relative to the concentration of the heavy metal. This will help to protect and preserve the ecosystem and recreational destination Lake Michigan and provide the public with an affordable, easy-to-use and safe monitoring test.
Team Munich – Germany
The Munich team aims to revolutionize bacteriophage engineering by facilitating self-assembly of phages in an optimized E. coli-based cell-free transcription- translation (TX-TL) system. The increasing occurrence of multi-resistant pathogenic bacteria is a major threat to human health. One promising alternative is the therapeutic use of bacteriophages, which is currently restricted to the use of naturally occurring phages. The team plans to optimize the cell-free TX-TL system by E. coli genome engineering and to improve the protocols for extract preparation and TX-TL lyophilization. The goal is to establish a new platform for easy, pure and affordable in vitro phage engineering.
Team GIFU – Japan
Massive Protein Production from Circular RNA
The Gifu team seeks to enable protein mass production in cell-free systems through gene expression from circularized RNA. A method called Permuted Intron-Exon (PIE), where 2.5% of transcribed RNA is converted into circular RNA has been proven to work in E. colicell, but only produced non-functional protein. This year, the team will employ cell-free technology to produce correctly folded and functionally active protein from circular RNA.
Team NUSGEM – Singapore
Natural Dyes from Waste
The NUS team addresses the sincere effects of water pollution caused by the textile dyeing industry through developing a novel synthetic biology-based solution. That involves the production of dyes in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner while significantly reducing the use of chemicals. This is done by the de novo bioproduction of natural dyes for the three primary colors: red, blue and yellow, in engineered bacterial strains that live from food waste. Natural dyes are known to be better biodegradable and have much fewer health effects on people compared to synthetic dyes.
Team EPFL – Switzerland
Cancer Detection & Monitoring
The goal of our iGEM EPFL team this year is to make cancer treatment and monitoring less expensive and more accessible using novel and innovative approaches in synthetic biology to treat melanoma skin cancer patients. We aim to integrate cancer detection, expression of patient-specific antigens and the development of a vaccine in cell-free as well as activation of the immune system in a single and personalized approach, including a CRISPR-based non-invasive follow-up assay based on miRNA and circulating tumor DNA.
Team Imperial College – United Kingdom
The Imperial College team develops a compartmentalized synthetic organ, in which engineered E. coli strains perform distinct functions in different area, all guided through an array of electrodes. Their goal is to be able to engineer complex behavior, in which spatial organization plays a key role in efficient processing of inputs. In addition, they will attempt to replace the E. coli lawn by a cell-free expression system, which would allow the usage of higher complex gene circuits.
Does your iGEM 2019 project require a cell-free system? Please contact us to explore the possibilities!