Spotlight on geekStarters: UCalgary iGEM Team

A favorite team picture from a visit to the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. The team received an exclusive tour and had a lot of questions answered in regards to their project.

Check out this recent interview with the iGEM team from University of Calgary, and learn about their exciting project and hopes for this iGEM season and beyond.

The most unique part of our team is the diversity that we have. For the summer, we conducted “word of the day” consisting of all the different languages in our group. There were 12 different languages at one point.

We sometimes conduct table tennis and pool championships during lunch hours that get rather intense. We also like to meet up for meals after lab work.

Our team uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep our followers updated on the progress of our project and the fun we have been having during our time together. We have also used social media to make the community aware of events we are involved in. Follow us @igemcalgary.

Our project involves using human waste to produce polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) bioplastic that can be used for 3D printing. We are looking to implement this idea in long range space missions such as the Mars project where waste management will be a problem.

Being a member of the iGEM Calgary team gave us the opportunity to meet and foster connections with undergraduate students from different faculties. This year’s Astroplastic project taught us the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation and gave us the opportunity to make new friends.

Our final product and processes are challenging and time consuming to quantify.

Going to the iGEM Jamboree in Boston.

To make a tool out of the plastic that we produce from our genetically engineered bacteria.

If we are able to develop our project into a working prototype we would love to test the prototype in Mars like conditions and eventually have the process used on Mars.