Missouri S&T iGEM uses synthetic biology to solve real world problems. An interdisciplinary design team under the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, we participate in the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. Undergraduates from a variety of majors devise creative approaches to genetic education and research while forming connections and having fun.
Bats, despite their bad reputation, play a vital role in the ecosystems of every continent except Antarctica. In the United States alone, they save billions of dollars every year by eating insects that would otherwise be controlled by noxious pesticides. A fatal epidemic threatening many bat populations has recently appeared, however, and there is no superhero to save them. Millions of bats have already died, and the disease - caused by a fungus that preys on hibernating bats - has only just begun to spread. Fungal spores are carried from cave to cave on humans, putting entire species in danger of extinction because of White Nose Syndrome. We aim to protect bats from this deadly disease with our current project.
Photo by Rosamond Hoyle