Cornell iGEM team Oxyponics project wins at 2017 competition
The Cornell iGEM team earned a gold medal classification at the 2017 International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition in Boston for their project, Oxyponics. Oxyponics is a biologically integrated hardware system that uses oxidative stress to boost hydroponic crop yields. The team designed a system to monitor and adjust oxidative stress in hydroponic systems utilizing protein pathways and optogenetic circuits, lending the spatial and temporal resolution that traditional methods lacked. Most notably, their efforts to integrate feedback from farmers and researchers in the field earned them the award of Best Supporting Entrepreneurship.
The Cornell iGEM Team is an award-winning synthetic biology research team comprised of 30 undergraduate students. The team is consists of five subteams: Wet Lab, Product Development, Policy and Practices, Business, and Wiki/Design. The team works throughout the school year and summer to solve local and global problems related to medical applications, environmental concerns, and human and animal health. Cornell IGEM competes against 300+ multidisciplinary teams from all around the world at the iGEM Giant Jamboree, hosted annually by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation.
The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to education and competition, the advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of an open community and collaboration. iGEM began in January 2003 as an independent study course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where students developed biological devices to make cells blink. This course became a summer competition with 5 teams in 2004 and continued to grow to 13 teams in 2005; it expanded to 300 teams in 2016, reaching 42 countries and over 5,000 participants. iGEM runs three main programs: the iGEM Competition - an international competition for students interested in the field of synthetic biology; the Labs Program - a program for academic labs to use the same resources as the competition teams; and the Registry of Standard Biological Parts - a growing collection of genetic parts use for building biological devices and systems.