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Monday, December 06, 2021

Five student teams from India bag gold medals at iGEM 2021

The Pune team’s winning project involved development of a sustainable model for synthesising chemical compounds using two bacterial strains.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: November 22, 2021 8:31:54 am
Five student teams from India bag gold medals at iGEM 2021The IISc team’s project saw development of a functionalised bacterial cellulose filter to combat organophosphate pollution, often caused due to excessive use of pesticides that get mixed with soils and eventually crops and farm produce.

A team of undergraduate students of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, has bagged a gold medal at the latest edition of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition held earlier this month. Teams from IISERs — Kolkata, Berhampur and Tirupati, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru — are also among the 169 international teams that won gold medals in 2021.

The Pune team’s winning project involved development of a sustainable model for synthesising chemical compounds using two bacterial strains. The students aimed to remove both the carbon-emitting petrochemicals and resource-intensive plant biomass.

Twelve students worked on the project titled ‘Synbactory’ during the past few months and presented the prototype of the bacterial co-culture to produce Butanol during the iGEM 2021 competition held from November 4 to 14. Butanol can be harmful to the skin and cause rashes and irritation, and finds a wide application as fuel.

The IISc team’s project saw development of a functionalised bacterial cellulose filter to combat organophosphate pollution, often caused due to excessive use of pesticides that get mixed with soils and eventually crops and farm produce. Students of IISER, Berhampur, devised a rapid diagnostic tool kit for early detection of tuberculosis.

The group from Kolkata developed a novel solution to address the subclinical bovine mastitis rampant in the dairy industry. The winning project from IISER, Tirupati, involved development of environment-friendly contraceptives using commensal bacteria of the fallopian tubes.

iGEM is a non-profit organisation that works for the advancement of synthetic biology, education and competition. Annually, over 6,000 high school, undergraduate and graduate students participate in the organisation’s competition.

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