ASU SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING STUDENTS EARNED JUDGES’ ADMIRATION — AND TOP AWARDS — AT INTERNATIONAL SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY COMPETITION
Soon after arriving at the 2016 International Genetically Engineered Machine Giant Jamboree to showcase the project they had worked on for several months, the undergraduate students representing Arizona State University’s iGEM team got a shocking surprise.
Their two graduate student advisors had been mistaken for team members, so the three undergraduates were placed in the graduate level of the iGEM competition instead of the undergraduate level division.
They would be up against more experienced rivals, many of them veterans of iGEM contests.
The three-day competition is the largest and most prominent test of students’ skills in synthetic biology. The fast-emerging field uses advanced cell engineering techniques to develop solutions to major health challenges, as well as new ways to produce energy, fabricate materials and more.
The iGEM event helps to fuel the advancement of synthetic biology with fresh ideas contributed by the undergraduate scientists-in-training.
Students from some of the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities were among the approximately 5,600 students on about 300 teams from 42 countries who came in Boston recently for the annual iGEM gathering.