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MTU iGEM Team Win Silver Medal at Annual Competition

MTU iGEM Team Win Silver Medal at Annual Competition

06 December, 2021

MTU’s iGEM Team were awarded a silver medal at this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition for their project on bioremediation of Mars using engineered bacteria in a novel housing system, the Biofrag 2.0.

MTU was the only Irish team to medal at the awards, which were announced on November 14, 2021. Entries from universities and schools worldwide saw 50 winners in the bronze category, 100 winners in the silver category and 169 winners in the gold category.

Mars holds great interest to humanity and commercial applications alike due to its suitability for potential habitation. One issue withstanding are the components of Marian soil which contains toxic levels of sodium perchlorate making food growth impossible.

The Biofrag 2.0 provides a solution by engineering E.coli with genomic islands from A. suilum which breakdown the sodium perchlorate in the soil. The bacteria are housed within a 3D printed novel spherical design for bioremediating and cultivation of the Martian soil.

The MTU iGEM Team is a truely collaborative one, encompassing staff and students from departments accross both Cork and Kerry campuses, including biological sciences, computer science, sports, veterinary science, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and the Centre for Advanced Photonics & Process Analysis (CAPPA). Congratulations to all involved!

You can learn more about the Biofrag 2.0 and the MTU iGEM Team here


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