iGEM York 2015

Using synthetic biology to enhance waste water treatment

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Completion Date: Sun 23 Aug 2015

 iGEM York

We are a group of undergraduate students spanning the departments of biology, chemistry and computer science who are taking part in a synthetic biology competition called iGEM.  

iGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine and it is a renowned international competition hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to solve some of the world’s greatest problems. It involves an intense summer of designing, researching and undertaking an original research project, which will be presented in Boston in September at the Giant Jamboree (where we hope to win a medal if all goes to plan...).

Our Team

Our team consists of 10 students from different scientific backgrounds. Two members of our team speak about their experiences and their hopes for this year's iGEM team.

Abigail Rowbotham, a first year Biology undergraduate:

“Back in 2013, York’s iGEM team obtained a gold medal and we plan to repeat our success with the 2015 team. Competing will be a fantastic opportunity to apply what we learn in our courses to actual real life problems, expand our skill sets and work with people on an international scale.”

Junhee Jung, a first year Biology undergraduate:

“Our hope for a gold medal for our project is something we strongly believe we can achieve. Taking part in the competition benefits a range of people, from the participants who will gain experience in designing and carrying out an experiment before communicating it to the public, to the wider community for providing an accurate view on genetic engineering of organisms.”

Our Project    

Our project aims to exploit the natural ability of bacteria to remove the excess of phosphate present in waste water, which is a problem in many waste water treatment facilities, including Yorkshire Water. This is with the goal of preventing the detrimental effects of phosphate pollution on the environment with greater efficiency and lower costs than existing methods. To achieve this we will introduce new genes in to bacteria which will increase their natural levels of phosphate accumulation; we will also introduce genes which causes the bacteria to float, allowing easy removal from the surface of the water. 

Where will the money go?

Any donations we receive will be put towards the following essential areas:

  •  Lab equipment and materials to allow our project to happen! 
  • Travel, accommodation and entrance fee to present our research at the Giant Jamboree hosted by MIT, Boston. 
  • Your donations will also be put towards funding outreach events; we will go into schools to try and inspire others about University life and the potential of synthetic biology. This is another very important part of our project as we also need to present our research to the general public and spread enthusiasm for science and synthetic biology!

Find us here

- On twitter: @iGEMyork

- Or like us  on Facebook: iGEM York 2015

Help us succeed!

- Please consider helping our project, which will be useful for both the advancement science of and help inspire others.

- Money isn't all we need in order to succeed ... if you would like to support our project then please share it on social media! 

Thank you!



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