The MRSA bacteria strain is a super-bug that is a huge problem in North American hospitals. It is resistant to even the strongest antibiotics. The Synthetic Biology Club at UNBC plans to find a detection and killing method for the bacteria.
Students will present their research at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition in Boston this fall. “What we are trying to do is use the same mechanism that they use to become resistant to kill them,” says a Student Leader for the UNBC iGEM 2017 Team, Brendan Reiter, “which is totally new; and as far as we know, it hasn’t been tried before.”
The club is looking for UNBC students studying math, physics, biology, biochemistry and business to help brainstorm. A team will be assembled in May.
11 UNBC students were among the 10 teams from Canada last year. In that competition, the club attempted to build a genetically engineered system to remove copper from water.
“The purpose of iGEM is to contribute to synthetic biology as a collective scientific whole,” says Keanna Woidak, another Student Leader for the UNBC iGEM 2017 Team. “So we are hoping to really just contribute knowledge or information to synthetic biology the best way that we can as undergraduate students.”