Welcome to the North American subforum, we are your North American ambassadors Amy Chen, Holly Bowman, and John Girgis are very excited to engage in conversations on this new platform. We have been traveling around meeting iGEMers at all sorts of events from regional iGEM meetups to SynBioBeta. Our travels showed us that there were many success stories for the field that deserve to be shared, discussed and worked on! To get us started on the discussion, we'd like to bring your attention to a few pieces of news that made 2018 awesome and some questions that we heard from iGEMers in our travels:
From a Policy and Public Engagement standpoint:
SynBio Canada, a student-led national association, was launched aiming to unify the voices and bring standardized education to Synthetic Biology enthusiasts and researchers across the whole country.
From the Giant Jamboree:
1. The University of California San Diego was first runner-up to the Undergrad Grand Prize with a technology to enhance liquid biopsies (more here),
2. Our Lady of the Snow Canmore were the recipients of the Chairman's Award for their wonderful story of making their research laboratory and methods more accessible to a member who lives with Cerebral Palsy (more here),
3. The University of Alberta were the winners of the Best Food and Nutrition project with their work that allows bee-feed to confer resistance to pathogens (more here).
Latest developments from and for Academia:
1. From the Bench to the top of the world: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Dr. Frances H. Arnold, Dr. George P. Smith, and Sir Gregory P. Winter for their work on creating synthetic proteins (more here),
2. From synthetic proteins to synthetic cells: Synthetic Cells were a major story with turning points in the major projects introduced at the 7th International Yeast 2.0, and the US National Science Foundation announcing a $10 million grant (more here),
3. From synthetic cells to synthetic ecosystems: Synthetic Biology promoting space-travel was a major talking point with discussions ranging from future agriculture practices to Mars colonization (more here).
How do you feel like 2018 has played out for the SynBio field in North America?