IIT Kharagpur student team won the Bronze Medal at iGEM 2016 held in USA.
Recently iGEM celebrated the achievements of 300 student-led teams as they unveiled their solutions to global challenges by building genetically engineered biological systems with standard, interchangeable parts. iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) Competition is the premiere student competition in Synthetic Biology for university and high school students. Since 2004, participants of the competition have experienced education, teamwork, sharing, and more in a unique competition setting. This year 5,600 participants across 42 countries took part in the Competition.
The project of the team from IIT Kharagpur for iGEM 2016 revolved around the idea of producing spider silk in an economical way, using bacteria. Spider silk has numerous applications in fields ranging from medical to defence. And as such, an economical production method is in need. The spider silk would be synthesized in Escherichia coli and brought to its surface by specific proteins, after which, it will be freed into the solution. Along with this, a detection system to test the efficiency of the proposed method was also devised.
The members studying 4th year B.Tech. in the Department of Biotechnology are Rhushikesh Phadke, Pruthvi Patel, Nishant Jayaswal, Dipasha Sinha, Sannapalla Ramesh, Sanjay Prasad, Chetan Khandelwal, Shauryaveer Singh, Jugal Mohapatra, Adarsh Mukesh. Nishant Jayaswal said "Through IGEM, I explored the practical applications of synthetic biology at almost every level and was extremely intrigued by the tremendous potential of this developing field. This would have never been possible through my academic courses alone."
There were teams from IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IISC Bangalore, SVCE Chennai and SRM Chennai. Out of these, IIT KGP, IIT M, IIT D and II Sc were funded (Rs. 10,00,000/- each) by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology. Apart from this amount, the registration fees of US $5,000 was provided by Institute's Gymkhana.