In the early hours of November 14, Beijing time, 2017 International Genetic Engineering Machine Design Competition (referred to as IGEM) came to a close in Boston, USA. During the four-day competition, representatives of our school won the gold medal in the competition with 313 top universities from home and abroad, such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oxford University, Peking University and Tsinghua University. This is the only gold medal in participating schools in the northeast region this year, as well as the first breakthrough after our school won the silver prize for three consecutive years.
The IGEM competition is the highest-level international academic competition in the field of synthetic biology hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The competition calls for a multi-disciplinary team to choose a topic of their own and create entirely new biological systems and apply them to production and life practices by designing an existing natural biological system or designing and building artificial biological components and systems. IGEM provides students with an international academic exchange platform, which has considerable international influence. This year, a total of 313 teams registered for the competition, with a total number of participants reaching more than 5,500, including 98 teams from China.
This year our school team's entry is entitled "Coordinated Grease Eraser". The project used a variety of engineered bacteria to achieve efficient treatment of oil-containing wastewater. The IGEM Competition Organizing Committee spoke highly of this project which they believe "provides a novel enrichment of the substrate of the program with a wide range of applications."
Our school participated in the IGEM contest for the first time in 2014. This year's competition team was established in November 2016, with 19 students from the School of Life Sciences, School of Forestry and School of Science. In 11 months’ preparation, through training, choosing topics, experimenting, exchanging, and practicing, the team ultimately achieved the intended goal. On the platform of IGEM, team members learned from each other and made progress in the collision of ideas. This not only shows NEFU students' diligence and exploration of true knowledge, but also enhances our communication and mutual understanding with world-class universities.
It is the tradition of our IGEM team to design and complete the experiments and subject display independently by the students. By relying on IGEM, a unique and novel form of competition, students are encouraged to innovate independently and open up an international perspective, which is a concrete measure of our school in cultivating independent, innovative talents.