I arrived in Cambridge tonight and headed out to a pub near MIT to find the linkurl:iGEM;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53819/ crew, who were supposed to meet up for an informal get-together before the Jamboree, iGEM's international linkurl:synthetic biology;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/1/1/30/1/ contest, starts tomorrow (Nov. 3). After peeking into a few bars I spotted a small group of young people wearing green t-shirts decorated with biotech company names and O-H molecules. We're it, they told me -- the Alberta team. They'll be presenting a project on a more efficient system to produce biofuels, one of 59 teams to compete. At the pub next door, I joined a larger group, led by a sweet-faced bearded kid wearing a white hoodie with iGEM's green cell-and-cog logo. Mac Cowell, who is coordinating the event, had come to iGEM in 2005 as part of the Davidson College team from Wisconsin. It was all so exciting, he told me, that after...

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