International Genetically Engineered Machine – iGEMCopyright: Alina Egger
The International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation iGEM is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, holding the worlds largest competition in this field.
Annually nearly 6.000 students around the world work in teams to address unique challenges and solve local or global problems while pushing the boundaries of synthetic biology down.
Possible areas of application include the environment, medicine, nutrition, new technologies, energy, and industry.
Each team selects a field of application for their project and then competes against teams that have selected working in the same field. During six to ten months the team works on the realisation of their self-chosen project. This requires not only work in the laboratory, but also fundraising, getting in touch with the public, or depending on the project, also building a hardware device.
In the end, all projects will be presented at a conference assessed by a jury of scientists. Assessment criteria include the team’s presentation, project poster, social engagement, and, if applicable, the results of a hardware project.
The project of the Aachen iGEM-team 2018 consists of the development of a biosensor for the sleeping hormone melatonin. In 2017, RWTH’s iGEM team came in second place with their water desalination, was nominated for the best hardware project and the best environment project.
The project is supported by the Hans Hermann Voss Foundation.