Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News News articles

Bye-monia: iGEM Groningen 2021

14 October 2021

Team Groningen aims to develop a solution to help lowering ammonia emissions

Every year, the University of Groningen composes a multidisciplinary team of students who compete in the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. iGEM is an international competition in biotechnology aimed at finding new solutions to current global and local societal issues. For the second time the team consists of students of the UG’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and students of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The team aims to develop a solution to help lowering ammonia emissions.

The team will defend their Bye-monia project in the final online competition, which will be held from November 4 to 15.

Team Groningen 2021

This year the Groningen team is addressing the nitrogen crisis. The Netherlands is producing excess nitrogen, which is harmful to nature and biodiversity. One of the main culprits for this so-called nitrogen crisis is animal agriculture, a vital income source for the Dutch economy. The project of the Groningen 2021 team targets ammonia emissions contributing to the crisis and aims to convert them into a beneficial feed additive. Saccharomyces spp. have been engineered to synthesize alpha-amylase, an enzyme that optimizes cattles’ digestion. This way, their milk production and growth will be enhanced while ammonia emissions will be reduced simultaneously. Residual ammonia will be captured by a state-of-the-art filter device, a Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), and fed back to our GMO. Furthermore, insights from artificial intelligence will be employed to optimize the engineering process.

Additional activities

As a part of the competition, students are asked to connect science to the broad public. Therefore, the Groningen team of 2021 has a very dedicated Human Practice team that works on deeply understanding the problem and contacting stakeholders that are involved in the topic (e.g. farmers). Additionally, creating education and scientific outreach material is important to make science more accessible. To achieve this, the team has designed and written a series of comics that explains synthetic biology in a plain and simple manner. These comics can be found here.

About iGEM

The iGEM competition is a global event allowing more than 360 student teams from all around the globe to have an opportunity to find solutions for real-world problems by using synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is an area of research that seeks to create new biological parts, devices, and systems, or to redesign systems that are already found in nature.

Communication channels

Mail: igemteam
Last modified:14 October 2021 12.46 p.m.

More news

  • 26 October 2021

    National Forest Service and University of Groningen launch Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer Telescope

    During the Nacht van het Wad (Night of the Wadden) and the Nacht van de Nacht (Night of the Night) on 30 October King’s Commissioner for Groningen René Paas will officially launch the Dark Sky Lauwersmeer Telescope. The telescope is the result of a...

  • 21 October 2021

    Student Carlijn van Beek wins KNCV Golden Master Award

    Carlijn van Beek has won the 2021 Golden Master Award for her Master’s research. She is Master’s student in Chemistry at the University of Groningen (UG). The award has been granted by the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV) since 2009.

  • 20 October 2021

    Europeans in the Americas 1000 years ago

    The Vikings were active in North America in the year 1021 AD. This now represents the earliest – and only – known year in which Europeans were present in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1492 AD. It also represents a definitive point...