EXPLORATION SKILLS COLLABORATION
Today was my first IGEM meeting. I have always been a curious student, but my passion for the sciences started through high school. When I learned what the club was about, I had to join, and after the first session, I am very glad I did. IGEM stands for International Genetically engineered machine, and it is a club that hopes to compete someday in the tournament. Through our meetings we have the chance to learn and modify cells through DNA plasmids, all of this to get them to perform a specific task. It is fascinating.
The current project we are in looks to modify a prokaryote with the GFP protein to turn fluorescent green when in contact with mercury. It could help out several local issues that deal with checking if water is infested with this chemical. Globally and nationally, mercury poisoning is a severe issue that accounts for several deaths per year, if we can achieve our goals, maybe we could be able to help.
When I arrived at the meeting at lunch, I was surrounded by friends and a few new faces, I quickly sat down and waited for Mr. Buck to speak. He spent the class by introducing IGEM and talking about the meeting after school. There, he proceeded to group us into three divisions; I was placed with the newbies. On our table, he explained in detail the process of DNA coding, I listened carefully and worked together with the newbies to ask questions. I was amazed by how incredibly complex and interesting the subject was.
Before entering the IGEM meeting, I knew the basics of biology, and as I left the room, I was even more confused. There is so much out there still to learn, but I am confident that this club will provide insight into a deeper level of understanding.