IllinoisSyntheticBio igem info

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About the iGEM Competition

The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the premiere undergraduate Synthetic Biology competition. Student teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Working at their own schools over the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells. This project design and competition format is an exceptionally motivating and effective teaching method.


iGEM began in January of 2003 with a month-long course during MIT's Independent Activities Period (IAP). The students designed biological systems to make cells blink. This design course grew to a summer competition with 5 teams in 2004, 13 teams in 2005 - the first year that the competition grew internationally, 32 teams in 2006, 54 teams in 2007, and 84 teams in 2008. Projects ranged from banana and wintergreen smelling bacteria, to an arsenic biosensor, to Bactoblood, and buoyant bacteria.

"This year we expect over 120 teams with over 1200 participants to participate in the competition. They will all specify, design, build, and test simple biological systems made from standard, interchangeable biological parts. Teams will present their projects at the iGEM Championship Jamboree in November (check back soon for the exact dates).


A Note to Students:

iGEM will challenge you. You will become part of an emerging scientific community that is defining a new cross-disciplinary field called Synthetic Biology. Synthetic Biology is fundamentally about the union of Biology and Engineering. iGEM will introduce you to the fundamental ideas of Synthetic Biology and will give you the opportunity to perform cutting edge research in a field that is continually evolving."

--iGEM.org


The iGEM 2009 will take place the first weekend of November on the MIT campus. The final date (either October 30 - Nov 2 or Nov 6 to Nov 9) will be posted as soon as the decision is final.

Click here for a Nature article discussing the past, current, and future topics in synthetic biology.

Learn more about what iGEM is through their official webpage.

Browse teams that competed last year or our 2009 project page.

Questions about our OpenWetWare page? Please email us at illinoisiGEM@gmail.com.

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