The iGEM team from the University of Groningen (UG) won a gold medal in the category 'Information Processing'! From 27th until 31st of October the UG team battled against more than 300 teams from universities around the world in the iGEM competition. At the final in Boston, they presented their state of the art biological machine. The team from Groningen used DNA of bacteria as a storage medium for data. The bacteria are also used as an encryption method. Bio-encryption is increasingly seen as a future solution to safely store and compact millions of terabytes of data and exchange. See the crowdfunding website for more information.
For the team 'Information Processing' was the most important category. The teams in this category are not trying to solve a real world problem with practical applications, but to address an interesting problem that would otherwise not get much attention. Unfortunately, they did not become the world champions, but the iGEM team from Groningen did show in Boston that the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is among the best in the world. In addition to the gold medal, they are honorably awarded with several nominations, including Best Software, Best Education, Best Outreach and Best Wiki.
Thanks to the telephone fundraising campaign among alumni and the crowdfunding website an amount of € 15,810 has been raised. The UG iGEM team could therefore pay the costs of the lab, materials, build a prototype and to participate in the competition. The UG team received attention throughout The Netherlands. The NOS, for example, devoted a news item on the iGEM from Groningen. You can find it below.
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