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Technicolor doo-doo

An out-of-the-ordinary design project blends synthetic biology and human necessity to glimpse the future of self diagnosis

Ariel Bleicher
I'd been chatting with the sandy-haired biology major behind me in line for refreshments at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology for about three minutes when he asked me if I'd seen the suitcase of poo. I admitted I hadn't. "Oh man," he said, "you've totally gotta see it. That thing's the $h!t!"
I planned to attend about a half dozen presentations at MIT's annual undergrad student competition, the linkurl:International Genetically Engineered Machine Jamboree,;http://2009.igem.org/Main_Page called iGEM by those in the know. The linkurl:team;http://2009.igem.org/Team:Imperial_College_London from Imperial College in London, which tried to engineer bacteria to deliver drugs to hard-to-reach places inside the human body, was on my list. So was the Bangalore, India, linkurl:team,;http://2009.igem.org/Team:ArtScienceBangalore who genetically engineered bacteria that smelled like rain.But the one thing nearly everyone I met at iGEM told me I absolutely couldn't miss was the suitcase filled with rainbow-colored poo.Finally, during an afternoon break, I ran into its...





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