iGEM awards, part one

After yesterday's intensive day of presentations, some in the iGEM crowd this morning look a little worse for wear. Several are sporting a square orange and black stamp on their cheeks, the stamp of the UCSF all-high school team. It got a little crazy at the pub last night, one of the organizers told me. (I can only guess that it was the legal-aged mentors, and not the high school students, who stayed out late stamping faces.) The UCSF team, whose project focused on intercellular organelles, is

Alla Katsnelson
Nov 3, 2007
After yesterday's intensive day of presentations, some in the iGEM crowd this morning look a little worse for wear. Several are sporting a square orange and black stamp on their cheeks, the stamp of the UCSF all-high school team. It got a little crazy at the pub last night, one of the organizers told me. (I can only guess that it was the legal-aged mentors, and not the high school students, who stayed out late stamping faces.) The UCSF team, whose project focused on intercellular organelles, is one of six finalists that were chosen last night. The others are UC Berkeley's linkurl:bactoblood,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53827/ Paris, which developed a technique to create the first multicellular synthetic bacterium; Peking, which worked on a two devices to spatially and temporally control cellular processes; linkurl:Ljublana,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53830/ which developed strategies for HIV therapies; and the University of Science and Technology in China, for a bacterial logic circuit. But...
ge and black stamp on their cheeks, the stamp of the UCSF all-high school team. It got a little crazy at the pub last night, one of the organizers told me. (I can only guess that it was the legal-aged mentors, and not the high school students, who stayed out late stamping faces.) The UCSF team, whose project focused on intercellular organelles, is one of six finalists that were chosen last night. The others are UC Berkeley's linkurl:bactoblood,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53827/ Paris, which developed a technique to create the first multicellular synthetic bacterium; Peking, which worked on a two devices to spatially and temporally control cellular processes; linkurl:Ljublana,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53830/ which developed strategies for HIV therapies; and the University of Science and Technology in China, for a bacterial logic circuit. But before the finalists present their work again this morning, for the benefit of those who missed it yesterday, there are several other awards to give out. (Researchers attending the Society for Neuroscience meeting this weekend in San Diego probably aren't heralded onto the stage with auditory accompaniment from the Beach Boys and other well-chosen rock-n-roll riffs, and I can attest that they're missing out.) One of the best things about iGEM, Drew Endy reminded the audience, is that people aren't just sharing their scientific ideas, but also sharing their results as "standard parts." Indeed, one of the many prizes announced, for the best standardized part contributed to the registry, was a reminder of the diversity and possibility such a database can contain. One winning team, Melbourne, extracted parts from a fluorescent bacterium, while the other team, Cambridge, synthesized theirs from scratch. "Most of our parts are still out in nature, waiting to be collected," Endy said. But a little genius in stringing something together is a great thing as well.

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?