Cultivation of synthetic biology with the iGEM competition

Thiprampai Thamamongood, Nathaniel Z.L. Lim, Trevor Y.H. Ho, Shotaro Ayukawa, Daisuke Kiga, King L. Chow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The main goal of synthetic biology is to create new biological modules that augment or modify the behavior of living organisms in performing different tasks. These modules are useful in a wide range of applications, such as medicine, agriculture, energy and environmental remediation. The concept is simple, but a paradigm shift needs to be in place among future life scientists and engineers to embrace this new direction. The international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition fits this purpose well as a synthetic biology competition mainly for undergraduate students. Participants design and construct biological devices using standardized and customized biological parts that are then characterized and submitted to an existing and ever expanding library. Overall, iGEM is an eye-opening learning experience for undergraduate students. It has made a strong educational impact on participating students and cultivated a future cohort of synthetic biology practitioners and ambassadors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • BioBrick
  • Synthetic biology
  • iGEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Artificial Intelligence


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