November 12, 2008
Two Berkeley teams headed to the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) in Boston this year, along with over 100 other participants from twenty one countries. Both mentored by BioE Assistant Professor Chris Anderson, the tools team took the Best Software Tool Award, while the “Wet Team” was one of 6 finalists for the Grand Prize.
The iGEM competition is an international 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. Teams presented their projects at the iGEM Championship Jamboree on November 8-9, 2008.
The Berkeley tools team, two Berkeley undergrads and a Washington & Lee University undergrad, designed the award-winning Clotho, an integrated software toolbox for organizing, sorting and editing the ever-expanding collection of biological parts. The tools team was mentored by Anderson and UC Berkeley postdoc Doug Densmore.
The “wet team” team consists of six Berkeley undergrads and two high school students, mentored by Anderson, BioE lecturers Terry Johnson and Megan Dueck, teaching fellow Dirk VandePol, and BioE graduate student Jin Huh. The team spent long days all summer in their Stanley Hall lab designing and constructing Clonebots: a genetic self-lysis device and a Gateway cloning device.
This year, eighty-four teams with over 1000 participants from twenty-one countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the US participated in the competition.
If you’d like to read more about iGEM, Clotho or Clonebots, check out the iGEM website.
Congrats to our bright iGEM teams!!