The Groningen iGEM 2021 team has won a gold medal with their Bye-monia project during the annual iGEM (international Genetically Engineering Machine) competition. In addition, the team also won the prize for 'best environmental project'. The medal was presented during the online award ceremony. Winning a gold medal means that the team has performed exceptionally with their project. The annual jamboree took place online again this year and lasted eleven days.
To win a gold medal, as a team you have to convince the jury that you meet all medal criteria. For example, you must be able to demonstrate that your conceived technical system works, that you have investigated and addressed problems in your design and that you have thought about how your project adds value to the world.
This year the Groningen team focused on ammonia emissions contributing to the nitrogen crisis and aimed 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 could be enhanced while ammonia emissions were reduced simultaneously. Residual ammonia was captured by a state-of-the-art filter device. Knowledge in the field of artificial intelligence was also used to optimize the engineering process.
The iGEM competition took place online from November 4-15. In total, there were more than 350 participating teams from all over the world, including six from the Netherlands. iGEM is the international Genetically Engineering Machine competition. iGEM provides multidisciplinary teams of students the opportunity to find solutions for global problems using synthetic biology.
See also: Bye-monia: iGEM Groningen 2021
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