A team of 12 students from IISER Pune has won a gold medal at the 2021 iGEM synthetic biology competition. The results were announced in during iGEM’s Annual Jamboree event held during November 4-14, 2021.
As part of their participation in this competition, the team worked over the last few months on a research project. The aim of the project was to develop a sustainable model for synthesising chemical compounds using a co-culture of two bacterial strains, thereby avoiding methods that involve carbon emitting petrochemicals or resource-intensive plant biomass. The team titled this approach as “Synbactory”. As a proof of concept, the team designed the bacterial co-culture to produce butanol, a chemical with applications as a fuel.
The iGEM Competition is organised by the iGEM Foundation aimed at undergraduate university students, as well as high school and graduate students, giving them an opportunity to tackle everyday issues facing the world through synthetic biology approaches. Every year about 6,000 people dedicate their summer months to iGEM and then come together to present their work and compete at the annual Jamboree where the results are announced. The 2021 Annual Jamboree for iGEM 2021 was held during November 4-14, 2021. The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization working towards the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition.
The team of students included Ashwin Uday; Misaal Bedi; Sanjana Vasanth; Ashli Jain; Namasivayam Gomathi Sankar; Likhith Chandragiri; Vidisha Hate; Arsh Shaikh; Soorya Narayan; Akash Dutta; Arya Narnapatti; and Jason Joby.