iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) is an annual worldwide Synthetic Biology competition originated at MIT, Boston. By participating in iGEM, teams of students work together with the goal of identifying and prototyping an engineered genetic machine that addresses a real-world problem or opportunity. iGEM is based on using BioBricks, standardized genetic parts, and one of the main goals of the competition is to produce new BioBricks to the collection. iGEM teams are student-driven and responsible for project ideation, planning, realization as well as their own fundraising.
Aalto-Helsinki 2016 is a multidisciplinary and international team of ten students from Aalto University and University of Helsinki that the interest in synthetic biology has brought together. Our team has a wide range of study and experience in research, natural sciences and technology. Aalto-Helsinki has been the first and presently the only team to represent Finland out of an annually increasing number of more than 250 participating teams across forty countries.
Toxins produced by blue-green algae are a recurring problem in Finnish lakewaters every summer. When present in large quantities as blooms, cyanotoxins pose a significant health threat to humans and domestic animals. The goal of our project is to sense and degrade these toxins by producing cyanotoxin-degrading enzyme with genetically modified yeast. We also want to promote synthetic biology and raise the knowledge about it.