Earlier this month, College of Biological Sciences undergraduate students traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, to compete with students from universities all over the world in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition. Occuring annually at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), this year's competition attracted 130 teams from 25 countries for a total of more than 2,000 students. Teams were challenged to design, build, and test a biological system that could operate within a cell.
According to the University of Minnesota's iGEM team's webpage, the team researched how to build protein-based micro-compartments in E coli bacteria that could be used as nanobioreactors to carry out metabolic functions or synthetic reactions. The team hopes to use further imaging experiments to demonstrate and model the formation for these structured microcompartments inside a micro-organism. For their efforts, the U of M team won a gold medal for the "Best New BioBrick Part, Natural." Read more about the project here.
The iGEM project is only one example of the exciting research being conducted in the College of Biological Sciences. Throughout the University of Minnnesota, research is a very important part of our community. As an undergraduate, there are lots of ways you can get involved with research--beginning with your first semester on campus. Students can do research for credit, as a job, or by volunteering. To learn more about research opportunities, visit the College of Biological Sciences Student Services Research webpage.