The University of Westminster International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team has just been awarded a silver medal in Boston, USA, for their project looking at polystyrene waste and synthetic biology solutions.

The iGEM Giant Jamboree is run by the ‘International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation’, a US non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology, education, competition and the development of a collaborative open community.

From 25-29 October, The University of Westminster iGEM‘s team, supported by the Quintin Hogg Trust, delivered a presentation about their project during the iGEM Giant Jamboree competition, which was attended by more than 300 University student teams representing more than 40 countries..

The Westminster team, who has worked voluntarily on this project since January 2018, included students from the School of Life Science: Sanarya Aljaf, Marko Obrvan, Sara Mubeen, Kristian Emilov, Tim Weber, Suraj Singh, Jenaagen Jenakendran, Timofey Markin with guidance from post-graduates Kyle Bowman and Camila Gaspar, as well as academic supervisors Dr Sarah Coleman and Dr Caroline Smith.

Speaking about the team’s project being awarded, Dr Caroline Smith, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for our students who have applied biochemical concepts to tackle a real-world problem, plastic pollution.”

In addition to their work in the laboratory for the presented project, the team was also involved in school visits, including the Gillespie Primary School, to teach pupils about plastics and bacteria. Students also took part in public engagements hosting a stand at the 15th Annual School’s Science Fair, presenting a talk at the University Environmental Society meeting and visited the Bywaters Recycling plant.

Find out more about the science advancements and human practice project developed by the School of Life Science’s iGEM team.

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