Glasgow iGEM team gets Gold Medal and is nominated for Best New Application and Best Integrated Human Practices.

Issued: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 16:19:00 BST

This weekend thousands of university and high school students from around the world traveled to Boston (USA) to compete in the iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree, the world's premier synthetic biology competition, showcasing innovative biologically-engineered solutions to real-world challenges.

The Glasgow iGEM team (Figure 1), comprising two third-year students from Biomedical Engineering and eight third-year students from MVLS, presented their results to a crowd of more than 250 other iGEM teams, and to the judges who awarded their project a gold medal. The Glasgow project was also shortlisted for best project in the New Applications track an Best Integrated Human Practices.

Figure 1. The Glasgow iGEM team, from left to right Julien Reboud, Ye Yang, Sean Colloms, Joshua Hanson, Cara Seggie, Vilija Lomeikaite, Dimitra Lountzi, Mhairi Davidson, Adele Cook, James Provan, Charlotte Flynn, Andrey Filipov, and Stephanie Holt.

The Glasgow project, ‘GlasGlow’, was an educational nightlight powered by bioluminescent bacteria, aimed at explaining Synthetic Biology to children and their parents. The students engineered bacteria to produce light, through bioluminescence (Figure 2) and used 3D printing to produce a prototype bioreactor which they fitted into their furry nightlight monster – Furri-Lux – who was a big hit at the Jamboree in Boston (Figure 3).

‌‌bioluminescent bacteria from igem 2015 glasgow team

4 members of the iGEM team with iGEM founder Randy Rettberg

Figure 2. The improved GlasGlow bioluminescence pathway (left flask) produces more light than the previous bioluminescent pathway (right flask).

Figure 3. Team members and Furri-Lux pose with iGEM co-founder Randy Rettberg.

The team, supported by Dr Sean Colloms, Dr Julien Reboud and Dr Stephanie Holt, and aided by Max Derksen (undergraduate student in Physics), obtained a gold medal for the second year running, and was nominated for two special prizes, testament to the hard work and dedication they put into their work over the summer (results available here).