Google Campus hosts future gene-iuses

Posted by uatemp13 at Aug 28, 2012 10:00 AM |
University of Leicester students aim to combat issues of recycling with synthetic biology

On Friday 17th August, four members of the University’s iGEM team attended the iGEM UK Team Meet-Up, at the Google Campus in London. Via Google+ Hangout on Air, the event was broadcast live on YouTube. The students joined 8 other teams from around the UK, including Cambridge, Edinburgh and UCL, to present their ideas.

During their slot at 1.50pm, the Leicester team shared their project which focuses on expanded polystyrene; whilst a useful product, it is a recycling nightmare, and micro-organisms that can digest it are very rare in the environment and work very slowly. To combat this major waste issue, the students aim to use a genetically engineered machine (a modified bacterium) to recycle polystyrene efficiently. By taking the active genes out of specific soil bacteria and inserting them into a more easily grown bacterium, they aim to improve the rate of degradation of polystyrene.

Aside from the team presentations, there were talks by academics, and most notably by Dr Adam Rutherford, a TV and radio presenter known for ‘The Gene Code’ on BBC4.

The broadcast from the UK iGEM Team Meet- Up is available to see on the NRP- UEA iGEM Team’s YouTube page.

For more information on the project, the University of Leicester team post regular updates on their blog.