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The Giant Jamboree is the culminating event of iGEM's annual synthetic biology innovation competition for collegiate and high school students. Each year, thousands of participants from around the globe explore unique applications of synthetic biology and build solutions that offer positive contributions to their communities and society at large. As part of the competition, participants explore the ethical, legal, social, economic, safety and security implications of their work, which is crucial for building safe and responsible projects that serve the public interest. More than 50,000 people have participated in iGEM since it began in 2003.
For the first time, the Giant Jamboree featured the iGEM Video Universe (https://video.igem.org/) for team presentations and promotion videos, as well as interactive spaces for poster sessions, workshops, committee tables, sponsor booths, networking events, and community gatherings. The ten-day virtual event focused on four aspects of iGEM – Competition, Community, Contribution, and Celebration – with over 6000 registrants that commended the 2020 teams for their success in overcoming the challenges of this exceptional year.
"We're breaking new ground in iGEM this year," said Randy Rettberg, co-founder and President of iGEM. "Every iGEM team made videos that they can use to tell their friends, family, and everyone in the world about the projects they've been involved in. We're focusing on the giant problems of the world as they are represented in the Sustainable Development Goals. This is not the old iGEM; this is the future iGEM"
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Of 249 participating teams, 168 Gold, 45 Silver, and 26 Bronze medals were awarded, with dozens more awards recognizing excellence for projects tackling global challenges, including food security, clean water, human health, biodiversity, climate change, and more. View results for the 2020 iGEM competition on igem.org (https://2020.igem.org/).
About the Winners
· Grand Prize: Vilnius-Lithuania (https://2020.igem.org/Team:Vilnius-Lithuania) (Lithuania) for developing "FavoFlo", an integrated system to detect, treat and prevent fish diseases in aquaculture farms.
· 1st Runner-Up: Toulouse_INSA-UPS (https://2020.igem.org/Team:Toulouse_INSA-UPS) (France) for creating "iGEMINI", an engineered nutritional yeast co-culture for food supplementation for astronauts during space exploration missions.
· 2nd Runner-Up: XMU-China (https://2020.igem.org/Team:XMU-China) (China) for engineering a rapid detect-and-degrade system to remove excess glyphosate herbicide from plant products like tea.
· Grand Prize: Leiden (https://2020.igem.org/Team:Leiden) (Netherlands) for constructing a modular technology – Rapidemic – to rapidly detect pathogenic species in future outbreaks.
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· Runner-Up: Aachen (https://2020.igem.org/Team:Aachen) (Germany) for engineering "M.A.R.S.", a biochemical energy recycling system to reduce cost hurdles for many production and research processes.
· Grand Prize: TAS_Taipei (https://2020.igem.org/Team:TAS_Taipei) (Taiwan) for developing a quick, accurate, home-detection kit for viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza.
· Runner-up: GreatBay_SCIE (https://2020.igem.org/Team:GreatBay_SCIE) (China) for creating a portable, easy-to-use test for detecting poisons in mushrooms.
iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that pioneered the synthetic biology industry and continues to advance the field through education, competition and industry collaboration. iGEM's annual student competition is the largest synthetic biology innovation program and a launchpad for the industry's most successful leaders and companies. The After iGEM program supports the competition's 50,000+ participants in their future endeavors to continue to work toward a strong, responsible and visionary synthetic biology industry. For more information, visit https://www.igem.org.
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