The Technion Israel Institute of Technology was awarded the gold medal in the 2014 International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. Its students won for a device which they developed that detects allergenic and harmful elements in food and water called “Safie.”
The competition was held at the Giant Jamboree in Boston over October and November. The Technion team was comprised of 12 students, both Jewish and Arab.
The device should come in handy at a time when people are concerned about all sorts of contaminants in their food from E Coli to Salmonella.
Safie is a low concentration bio-detector based on a gate construct, which utilizes a quorum-sensing and an altered two-component signaling system. In addition, groundbreaking organic synthesis of a photo-switching molecule – Azobenzene – is used in a pioneering attempt to mimic biofilm formation.
If you understood all of that then you must be a Technion graduate. Suffice it to say if the IGEM judges know their stuff then people will soon be using the Safie to test food and water.
The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is dedicated to education and competition, advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of open community and collaboration. In 2012, iGEM spun out of MIT and became an independent nonprofit organization located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The iGEM Foundation fosters scientific research and education through organizing and operating the iGEM Competition, the premier student synthetic biology competition. It also fosters scientific research and education by establishing and operating the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, a community collection of biological components. The organization promotes the advancement of science and education by developing an open community of students and practitioners in schools, laboratories, research institutes, and industry. The iGEM community has a long history of involving students and the public in the development of the new field of synthetic biology.