iGEM

The international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is the largest worldwide synthetic biology competition for collegiate students. The objective of the competition is to design and build an engineered biological system using DNA technologies. It aims to combine and create novel genetic parts, which can be incorporated in an organism, thereby equipping it with new functions. Each year, teams from universities and colleges all over the world work throughout the summer to produce their enhanced organism, created using synthetic biology. This year our work will be presented to the scientific community at the Giant Jamboree in Boston in November 2017.

This year’s project

The threat of athletes using gene doping caused the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) years ago to put gene doping on the list of prohibited substances and methods in sports. Gene doping is the misuse of gene therapy techniques to enhance sports performances. Since the proteins produced from gene doping constructs are indistinguishable from native proteins, detection of gene doping has to occur on the level of nucleic acids. Our project, Advanced Detection of Performance Enhancement (ADOPE), aims to develop a routine, reliable and robust detection method for gene doping, based on targeted next generation sequencing. Traces of gene doping DNA from a blood sample are targeted by using a specifically designed fusion protein, consisting of a CRISPR-Cas protein and a transposase. This combination loads target DNA with adapters needed for sequencing. Using this targeted next generation sequencing allows for rapid, sensitive and robust gene doping detection with double verification.

Year

Result

2008

Bio-thermometer: Best Wiki

2009

Bacterial Relay Race: Best information Processing Project

2010

Alkanivore: Best presentation

2012

Snifferomyces: Best Debate

2014

Electrace: Best Microfluidics Project

2015

Biolinker: GRAND PRICE WINNER, Best Wiki, Best Hardware, Best Applied Design

2016

Biolens & Biolaser: Best New Application, Best New Composite Part, Best Model

2017

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iGEM