The annual iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition in synthetic biology has been won by a team of students from UC Davis! The iGEM competition sees teams of undergraduates from around the world use a kit of biological parts to build devices capable of helping with real world problems. This years competition attracted almost 250 teams from North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.
The winning team from UC Davis built a sensor that can probe the properties of olive oil in order to detect whether oil has spoilt thus providing both consumers and retailers with a means of ensuring product quality. This is the first machine that is capable of easily assessing the quality of olive oil, an important crop in California (over 3.5 million gallons of Californian Extra Virgin Olive Oil will be produced this year).
— iGEM Headquarters (@iGEM) November 3, 2014
The UC Davis team worked in the Genome Center over the summer under supervision of three Genome Center Faculty (Marc Facciotti, Ilias Tagkopoulos, and Justin Siegel) in collaboration with Selina Wang, Research Director of the UC Davis Olive Center.
For more information on this story, see the detailed report on the UC Davis News site.