Team:St Andrews/FAQ


St Andrews from East Sands

University of St Andrews iGEM 2010


The Saints

University of St Andrews iGEM 2010

Our first year at iGEM!

Frequently Asked Questions


The University of St Andrews

St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world, founded in 1413. Over six centuries it has established a reputation as one of Europe's leading and most distinctive centres for teaching and research.

The University of St Andrews is named as one of the top 5 universities in the UK in the Guardian 2011 league table in the Times 2010 league table, achieving the highest ever rank of a Scottish university. For the fifth consecutive year, the University of St Andrews has topped the polls at the independent national student survey, which measures how satisfied students are with the quality of their higher education experience.

University of St Andrews

What is the iGEM Competition about?

iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) is the premiere Synthetic Biology competition organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it is aimed at undergraduates from leading institutions across the globe.

The competition began in 2003 with just 5 teams, by 2009 there were 112 teams and for 2010, 180 teams are predicted to take part.

How does it work?

“Student teams are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Working at their own schools over the summer, they use these parts and new parts of their own design to build biological systems and operate them in living cells.”

“Participants will all specify, design, build, and test simple biological systems made from standard, interchangeable biological parts.”

What is Synthetic Biology?

“An emerging scientific community that is defining a new cross-disciplinary field called Synthetic Biology. Synthetic Biology is fundamentally about the union of Biology and Engineering. iGEM will introduce you to the fundamental ideas of Synthetic Biology and will give you the opportunity to perform cutting edge research in a field that is continually evolving.”

What are BioBricks?

“BioBrick standard biological parts are DNA sequences of defined structure and function; they share a common interface and are designed to be composed and incorporated into living cells such as E. coli to construct new biological systems.

BioBrick parts represent an effort to introduce the engineering principles of abstraction and standardization into synthetic biology. The trademarked words BioBrick and BioBricks are correctly used as adjectives (not nouns) and refer to a specific "brand" of open source genetic parts as defined via an open technical standards setting process that is led by the BioBricks Foundation.”

BioBricks on Wikipedia

What is the Registry of Standard Biological Parts?

“The Registry is a continuously growing collection of genetic parts that can be mixed and matched to build synthetic biology devices and systems. Founded in 2003 at MIT, the Registry is part of the Synthetic Biology community's efforts to make biology easier to engineer. It provides a resource of available genetic parts to iGEM teams and academic labs”

Parts Registry