Summer STEM Program
Genetically Engineered Machines: The iGem Competition
The International Genetically Engineered Machines competition (iGEM) is an intensive synthetic biology competition open to students from universities around the world. Ever since its international launch in 2005, over 200 teams converge onto the MIT campus annually to showcase their engineered biological systems. Since 2012, the organizers of IGEM have added a special high school track for the competition. This section provides a laboratory studio for students to research, design, and build projects in preparation for their entry into future competitions. The types of projects launched by students run the gamut from biomedical applications such as: 1) engineered enzymes for synthetic blood substitutes, 2) living biosensors that can detect pathogens in lakes, 3) novel biomaterials produced using modified organisms, and 4) even using the genetic code of the organisms themselves as means to encrypt high densities of information for long term storage.