UCSF team scores at International Genetically Engineered Machine competition


UCSF team


From High School to International Triumph

UCSF Today  by Wallace Ravven

“They came. They genetically engineered. They conquered.

“After a summer at UCSF working on their own genetic engineering project, six students just out of high school and one undergraduate have just taken one of the top honors in an international competition among universities as familiar as Caltech and distant as Peking University.

“The contest, known as the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, is sponsored by MIT, and included teams from MIT, Harvard, Princeton and about 20 European and Asian universities.

“College undergraduates aiming for careers in engineering or biotechnology make up nearly all the teams. The UCSF-based team of high school grads and one college undergrad were advised by UCSF graduate students and postdoc mentors. The team ended up with a gold medal for the highest level of presentation of their scheme to fashion a new kind of organelle inside a living cell.

*  *  *

“‘If we wanted a new organelle to become, let’s say, a drug- or biofuel-producing site inside a cell, the first step would be to create the new organelle by marking it with its own phosphate bar code. That’s what the team has been trying to do,’ [Michael] Chen said. Over the summer, the team made substantial steps in engineering molecular machines that could create this new phosphate based code.

*  * *

“Jimmy Huang, one of the students on the UCSF-based team and now a freshman at UC Davis, filed a blog on the team’s experience” . . . (full article)

Image Credit:  Jimmy Huang blog

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Newcomb’s commentary:  “The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.” Albert Einstein



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