Technion iGEM 2014
Two years after the first team of Technion students won the gold medal at iGEM –the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, a second team of Technion students entered this year, with a novel technology capable of identifying toxins in food. A device developed by 11 students from the Technion and one student from the Wizo Haifa Academy of Design and Education was entered into this year’s iGEM competition. Two years ago, a group of Technion students entered the competition for the first time and won the European gold medal, for the development of the “Trojan Phage” technique for drug delivery via viruses.
The 2014 iGEM competition, held in October at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), aimed to encourage students to independently advance a complete research project in the area of synthetic biology,
an emerging field combining knowledge from multiple disciplines in science and engineering, to develop genetically engineered systems that respond to their environment.
Approximately 250 teams from universities around the world took part in iGEM. Contenders were required to present their project in its entirety – including concept development, economic model, proof of concept, etc.
A device developed by 11 students from the Technion and one student from the Wizo Haifa Academy of Design and Education was entered into this year’s competition. The system proposed by the Haifa-based group, led by Assistant Professor Roee Amit and Dr. Orna Atar from the Biotechnology and Food Engineering Faculty at the Technion, “Safie”, is a bio-chemical mechanism that detects toxins or allergens in food, water and additional substances. The device identifies the presence of toxins, mercury, gluten, nuts, and other contaminants even at low concentrations. The system uses genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to illuminate a green light that signals concentrations of toxins or allergens in the food or beverage tested. This project was partially funded by the Lorry I. Lokey Center for Life Sciences and Engineering. . http://lokey.technion.ac.il/galleries/12