Chalmers Gothenburg in international biosensor competition2012-10-04 11:53
A driven team of people at Chalmers University of Technology is now taking part in a synthetic biology competition for students, competing against 190 teams from all over the world. Around sixty of the teams are from Europe, and for the first time Chalmers University of Technology is represented at iGEM (the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition), which will be taking place in Amsterdam in early October.
The team call themselves Chalmers Gothenburg, and a Bachelor thesis written by four women in the field of biotechnology formed the basis for the project. “There is a lot of literature on this subject, and our challenge was to design the system. We decided to develop a new form of pregnancy test based on yeast," explains Anna Rundstedt, one of the initiators of the research project. During the development phase, with active laboratory work and modelling, three guys joined the girls to form a now closely knit team that has its sights set on Amsterdam - and, ultimately, on the final in Boston to be held later this year.
This has been an intensive period: this much is obvious. As is the energy. Anna Rundstedt explains enthusiastically that this is the first time anyone has expressed this human receptor in yeast and linked it to the existing reaction pathway, which in turn has been linked to the production of an indigo blue colour. These types of receptor are common, and about half of the receptors in the body could probably express colour, which means that the team's research results could be used in completely different contexts in future. The Chalmers Gothenburg team has seen clear colour differences in its samples and succeeded in producing blue bubbles. This colour has a strong pigment, which is an advantage, and after having deleted a cell wall protein it would be possible to detect larger molecules. The results will now be published and presented at iGEM in Amsterdam before long.
"This research is in its early stages, and of course it would mean a lot both to us personally and to Chalmers as a whole if our efforts in Amsterdam were to be high-profile," says Anna Rundstedt. We hope more young students will be motivated as a result!
Contact: Anna Rundstedt, telephone +46 (0) 73 577 43 33