This news release is available in German.
Last weekend (11-13 October), Bielefeld University's iGEM team won the European region preliminary round of the international iGEM competition. The jury was so impressed by the microbial fuel cell the team has developed to generate energy directly from bacteria that they judged them to be the best team in Europe. 'We never even dreamed that we would win,' says Lukas Rositzka, a member of the team. 'The surprise was great and the joy even greater.' iGEM stands for 'International Genetically Engineered Machine competition' and is the most important student competition in synthetic biology. It has been held every year since 2004 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA.
Because of the continuous increase in the number of participants since 2004, teams have had to qualify for the finals in Boston in preliminary rounds held on each competing continent since 2011. It was only with the goal of qualifying that Bielefeld University's iGEM team travelled to iGEM's European Jamboree in the French city of Lyon. 'That the team went on to win first place is an outstanding success,' enthused Dr. Jrn Kalinowski who is supervising the students together with further colleagues at Bielefeld University's Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec). A total of 60 teams from all over Europe competed at the Jamboree -- 30 of them (including the Bielefeld students) in the Overgraduate category in which team members have to be at least 23 years old. In this group, 12 teams have qualified for the finals. A total of 23 European teams will be travelling to the World Championship Jamboree in Boston.
Over the past months, the Bielefeld team spent a great deal of time in the laboratory developing a functional microbial fuel cell that us
|Contact: Lukas Rositzka|
University of Bielefeld