A team of Greek biology students from the University of Thessaly recently won first prize in an international competition hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The ten students presented a research project entitled “Odysee,” which aimed to create a test for an early diagnosis of tuberculosis, with the students’ main goal to use the test at the refugee reception facilities in our country.
The University of Thessaly students who took part in the competition called iGEM won the gold medal for the Best Diagnostics Project among 375 teams from all over the world.
iGEM is an annual worldwide competition the field of synthetic biology. Teams of students use standardized genetic parts which can be spliced into DNA to modify an existing organism.
These structures can then be used as treatments or tests to address real-world problems, in fields including health and medicine, manufacturing, bioenergy, and even art and architecture.
Students also take their work beyond the lab, engaging with clinicians, regulators, policy experts and the general public to maximize their project’s potential real-world impact.
Teams are judged on the quality of their science as well as factors such as communication, outreach, collaboration with other teams, and the quality of genetic parts they submit back to the Registry of Parts for teams to use in future years.