Tokyo Tech News
Tokyo Tech becomes first team in history of iGEM to win three years in a row.
The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition is the premier competition for undergraduate synthetic biology in the world in which student teams are given a kit of standard genetic parts, called BioBricks, which are assembled to design and build a new biological system. Each team gives a presentation of their results for evaluation by judges. This year, iGEM 2014 was held in Boston from October 31 to November 3. A total of 245 teams from around the world participated, including renowned universities such as MIT (USA), Imperial College London (UK), and Tsinghua University (China). The competition is divided into 15 projects, including 5 new projects added this year.
This year's Tokyo Tech team consisted of 11 students from the School of Bioscience and Biotechnology currently enrolled in the Creative Design for Bioscience and Biotechnology II course, 2 students from the School of Science, and 1 student from the School of Engineering. The team built a genetic network modeled after the interaction among customers, companies, and banks and verified the results using simulation. The objectives of this project were to demonstrate the importance of synthetic biology to the general public and to develop teaching materials for enabling science students to gain a better understanding of economic systems. As a result of this project, Tokyo Tech won the prize for the Best Information Processing Project, one of the 15 available project divisions.
This year marked the third year in a row that Tokyo Tech team has won the Information Processing Project, which is a remarkable feat that had never happened in the 10-year history of this competition. These results demonstrated the outstanding abilities of Tokyo Tech students on an international stage. Tokyo Tech also extended its world record of consecutive gold medals to eight years since the inception of the medal system. Of the 245 teams, there are only three teams that hold this record for consecutive gold medals -- Tokyo Tech, the University of Edinburgh (UK), and the University of Freiburg (Germany).
The activities of the Tokyo Tech iGEM team are supported by the Tokyo Institute of Technology Foundation.