Promoting microbiology education through the iGEM Synthetic Biology Competition

Kelwick, Richard, Bowater, Laura, Yeoman, Kay H. and Bowater, Richard P. ORCID: (2015) Promoting microbiology education through the iGEM Synthetic Biology Competition. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 362 (16). ISSN 0378-1097

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Synthetic biology has developed rapidly in the 21st century. It covers a range of scientific disciplines that incorporate principles from engineering to take advantage of and improve biological systems, often applied to specific problems. Methods important in this subject area include the systematic design and testing of biological systems and, here, we describe how synthetic biology projects frequently develop microbiology skills and education. Synthetic biology research has huge potential in biotechnology and medicine, which brings important ethical and moral issues to address, offering learning opportunities about the wider impact of microbiological research. Synthetic biology projects have developed into wide-ranging training and educational experiences through iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition. Elements of the competition are judged against specific criteria and teams can win medals and prizes across several categories. Collaboration is an important element of iGEM and all DNA constructs synthesised by iGEM teams are made available to all researchers through the Registry for Standard Biological Parts. An overview of microbiological developments in the iGEM competition is provided. This review is targeted at educators that focus on microbiology and synthetic biology, but will also be of value to undergraduate and postgraduate students with an interest in this exciting subject area.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioe,biotech,igem,microbiology education,synthetic biology,transferable skills
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Molecular Microbiology
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Research in Mathematics Education
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Biosciences Teaching and Education Research
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2016 15:02
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 00:47
DOI: 10.1093/femsle/fnv129


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