SEATTLE — A team of 23 University of Washington students has won the world championship of synthetic biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The honor isn’t as well known as the sports championships their classmates sometimes win, but it has some of the same elements: fierce competition and collegiate rivalries.
Their field of battle is a lab. The UW team did months of genetic engineering on microbes. They had two goals: to produce diesel fuel and to help treat gluten intolerance in humans.
Faculty adviser Justin Siegel says he expects the student research to be published in a peer-reviewed science journal, just as last year’s team results were. He says publication is rare for undergraduates.
Team members come from a variety of UW majors, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of synthetic biology.