Jasmine Jiang presents Team Nevada’s undergraduate research project at the iGEM West meeting at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California
Nine undergraduates from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department participated in the 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This international competition challenges students to engineer a new product or process using synthetic biology. This year's team produced a protein designed to bind B12 or thiamine to white rice, a grain that is rich in carbohydrates, but is lacking in vitamin content. This method will pave the way toward providing a useful means of grain supplementation in countries which depend on white rice as a primary staple. The 2012 Nevada iGEM team won a gold medal for their project at the regional competition held in October in at Stanford University. The Nevada team was also one of eight teams from the region, including Stanford, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, invited to the international competition at MIT in November. The Nevada Team went to the international competition where a number of judges and teams from Asia encouraged the students to continue their research on this important project. The team plans to continue this project in the spring with the goal of publishing a research paper.