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Tokyo Tech team extends gold medal record at iGEM 2017

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February 16, 2018

The students of Tokyo Tech obtained yet another gold medal at this year's International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM), extending their world record to 11 consecutive years since the inception of the medal system. Of the 310 teams participating this year, only Tokyo Tech and the University of Freiburg are holders of this record.

Tokyo Tech team

Tokyo Tech team

The iGEM competition is an international synthetic biology competition mainly for undergraduate students. The student teams are given a kit of standard genetic parts, called BioBricks, and are asked to design and build a new biological system. Each team presents their results to a panel of judges. This year, the competition was held in Boston from November 10 to 13, with renowned universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Heidelberg University, and Tsinghua University participating in the 10 categories.

Comments from participant

Hazuki Hasegawa

Tokyo Tech's team consisted of 12 students who worked on establishing a co-culture system for human cells and E. coli. This may sound easy, but during experiments, contaminated bacteria in the human cell culture environment rapidly grow, and human cells die. In our bodies, it seems that symbiotic relationships with bacteria are established in various organs, including the intestines. We believe that this co-cultivation technology can contribute not only to analyzing the "creation" of this symbiotic relationship, but also to the construction of a more life-like living system. We plan to develop devices applying this co-cultivation technology next year and apply it to medical applications as well. In the iGEM competition, creating "something with high social impact" is becoming a prerequisite for winning the category prize and the special prize, and, by developing applied technology and devices based on this year's product, we are aiming for the special award next year.

Participating students

  • Saki Arakaki 3rd year, Bioscience
  • Kohei Umedera 3rd year, Biomolecular Engineering
  • Michio Takagi 3rd year, Bioscience
  • Hazuki Hasegawa 3rd year, Bioscience
  • Kazunori Motai 3rd year, Organic and Polymeric Materials
  • Takuma Yasue 3rd year, Biotechnology
  • Hajime Fujita 2nd year, School of Life Science and Technology
  • Kazuya Isawa 1st year, 7th Academic Group
  • Hinako Kataoka 1st year, 7th Academic Group
  • Tamon Sato 1st year, 7th Academic Group
  • Moe Takahashi 1st year, 7th Academic Group
  • Hakaru Nakaya 1st year, 7th Academic Group

Instructors

Assoc. Prof. Yoh-ichi Tagawa, School of Life Science and Technology

Assoc. Prof. Nobuhiro Hayashi, School of Life Science and Technology

Assoc. Prof. Nobutaka Nakashima, School of Life Science and Technology

Prof. Masayuki Yamamura, School of Computing

Prof. Hiroyuki Ohta, School of Life Science and Technology

Akifumi Nishida, 3rd-year doctoral student, Computer Science

Shyoya Yasuda, 3rd-year doctoral student, Computer Science

Off-campus presentation instructor

Prof. Robert F. Whittier, Faculty of Medicine, Juntendo University

Internal support

Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development

Tokyo Tech Fund

Aizawa Fund

Tokyo Tech Alumni Association

Tokyo Tech Alumni Association Kanagawa Branch

Bio Creation Design Room

Science education support

External partners

Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT)

Cosmo Bio Co., Ltd

Promega Corporation

Leave a Nest Co., ltd.

Metabologenomics, lnc.

Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)

MEDICAL & BIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES CO., LYD. (MBL)

Tokyo Tech Fund

This event is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund

Giving to Tokyo Tech

School of Life Science and Technology

School of Life Science and Technology
—Unravel the Complex and Diverse Phenomena of Life—

Information on School of Life Science and Technology inaugurated in April 2016

School of Life Science and Technology

Schools, Departments, and Institute for Liberal Artsouter

Contact

Department of Life Science and Technology

Email nhayashi@bio.titech.ac.jp

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