Ten member team of young scientists won silver medal in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition
An undergraduate team of young scientists from Peshawar has won a silver medal in a genetic engineering competition organised by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation in Boston.
A function was organised at Boston’s Hynes Convention Centre, Massachusetts where the students across the country gathered this summer to use the cutting-edge discipline of synthetic biology to solve one of the most pressing environmental challenges we face in Pakistan.
According to media reports, the iGEM team belongs to Institute of Integrative Biosciences, CECOS University, Peshawar, and has been supported by the Directorate of Science and Technology, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The awarded project is called a ‘reporter fish’ which can detect heavy metal contamination in fresh water and in response to it and change the colour of its body.
The team designed and built the genetic (DNA) circuits needed for this function and have tested them in bacterial cells. The students believe that their project would have a direct impact on the livelihoods of fish farmers, and the health of fish consumer across the country.
Around 300 teams participated in the competition this year including teams from top education institutions such as Harvard and Oxford.
Dr Faisal Khan, the supervisor of the team said I am super proud of the team who put in a lot of effort to win us Silver this time. A lot of thanks to the Government of KP and CECOS University for the Sponsorship and the all out support throughout the competition this year.
He further said we cannot be playing with ‘Windows95’ in an age of ‘Android’ and ‘iOS’ and we desperately needed this upgrade in life sciences in the country.