NYU Abu Dhabi's (NYUAD) International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team has received the university's first gold medal at the Giant Jamboree in Boston, USA, for its project E.coLAMP. The Giant Jamboree is a synthetic biology competition that hosts student academic scholars from 310 international teams.
E.coLAMP is a portable and affordable device that is capable of amplifying a genetic marker of the Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli in just 20 minutes using a technique called loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP).
In the development of E.coLAMP, the team employed a comprehensive design-build-test cycle, integrating feedback from potential users into the design of the device to better meet users’ needs. In the spirit of community service, the NYUAD team also conducted extensive education and engagement programmes by inviting 20 high school students to university’s first annual synthetic biology workshop. An outreach programme was also conducted in Indonesia to primary school students on food safety and hygienic practices.
The NYUAD team of 12 biology and engineering students were led by seniors Adrienne Chang and Khairunnisa Semesta, supervised by faculty members and instructors, Dr. Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani, Dr. Yong-Ak Song, Dr. Mazin Magzoub, Ibrahim Chehade, Ashley Isaac, and Mona Kalmouni.
Being the only from the UAE, the NYUAD team hopes to encourage and share their experience with other GCC institutions to help them launch their own iGEM teams in the future.
NYUAD Class of 2018 student Khairunnisa Mentari Semesta said, " We are looking forward to empowering our community here in Abu Dhabi and our home countries by continuing to develop this device."
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2018.