By Schnarr, J.W. on June 7, 2018.
Local high school students taking part in an annual science competition earned an award in their first outing, showcasing their Ctrl-Salt-Del synthetic biology project.
The University of Lethbridge high school international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team came away with the Best Opportunity Analysis award and an $1,800 travel bursary after competing at their first geekStarter jamboree in Canmore on May 26 and 27.
The team earned the award for analyzing previous work done by iGEM teams and learning from its limitations.
“The jamboree was really great. We got to meet other teams and learn about their projects,” said Grade 10 Michelle Wu in a news release. “We also got good feedback on our project that will help with the next steps.”
The team is made up of 16 students from Winston Churchill, LCI, Chinook and Catholic Central high schools.
The students chose a project that will use synthetic biology to remove salt and metal ion contaminants from water.
The goal is to create a more cost-effective and energy-efficient method for desalination and recovery of heavy and precious metals from effluent water.
It is hoped the technology could one day be integrated into existing water treatment infrastructure.
The team will continue working on the Control-Salt-Delete project over the next few months in preparation for the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree in October at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where they’ll join teams from all over the world for five days of competition.
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