This is really cool. iGem is a competition to build biomachines. It has categories for high school, college and entrepreneurs. The idea is to build interesting things using some standard biological building blocks. I think this is an exciting way to promote interest and innovation in new field of synthetic biology. In the high school division, these are some of the topics:
- An alarm clock that helps you fall asleep and wake up with scents
- An olfactory test for the detection of carbon monoxide
- Using E Coli to create a tyrian purple dye
- Create a BioBrick which can produce a protein that can aid in glucose digestion for those whole are intolerant
- A system to detect mercury in water and give off a red glow
- A BioBrick to detect water contaminants
Below is an interesting/quirky little video on the difference between between genetic engineering and synthetic biology.
Looks like fun to me. Anybody want to form a team? What do you want to build?