What is iGEM?

International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) is an international Synthetic Biology competition, organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where over hundred students from the greatest universities in the world compete.

iGEM is based on the simple concept of gene standardization, Biobricks. Thus, each gene becomes simple to use and simple to arrange in order to make the engineering of living matter systematic.
The main objectives are to promote the development of open-source tools for biological engineering and thus contribute to the development of a society that uses biotechnologies.

For us, iGEM is above all a tremendous professional and human experience. Students have to conceive a R&D project, organize and lead an interdisciplinary program, work as a team, communicate and promote our work internationally.

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Why are we participating?

iGEM is a Synthetic Biology competition, in which each team has to create an innovative project and develop it in a laboratory. This project is interdisciplinary, it demands rigor and organizational skills when working. This envelops all the key points of our curriculum:

- Innovation,
- Multidisciplinarity,
- Project management,
- Autonomy in our work,
- Scientific communication,
- And fun!

iGEM is also the opportunity to share our common interest with young scientists from around the world, meet our future partners and take part all together in the development of our discipline.

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The "DVS" Project

Within the framework of the iGEM competition, we have chosen to develop a project focused on health. Today, even though therapeutic products are becoming more and more efficient, they are becoming equally more and more fragile.

With this in mind, we have decided to develop a process enabling the protection of biological active ingredients, mainly nucleotide types. This process exists already; it’s what we call a vector. It can be biological, such as viruses, or chemical, such as polymeric nanoparticles. Whatever the nature of the vector, they raise many problems: stability, targeting, membrane passing, and immune reactions.

This is why we have tried to create the ideal vector: the best stability, the best targeting, capable of penetrating easily its target and especially capable of eluding the immune system. We have thus created a "double vectorization system" (DVS) that uses jointly a bacteria and a phage. The first vector, of bacterial type, is used to target the tissue and resist the immune system, whilst the second vector, of phage type, is used to target the cell type and to penetrate the membranes. The combination of both systems offers an improvement of the intrinsic capacities of vectors, as well as new application possibilities.

Bearing in mind the public health problems of the world, we deemed interesting to apply our concept to lung cancer, which opens a new realm of therapeutic strategies to fight this physiopathology.
Through this WIKI, discover the construction of our project: from its conception to its realization.

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