CHENNAI: Students from the Department of Biotechnology, Sri Venkateshwara College of Engineering won the bronze medal at an international competition for genetically engineered machines. They won the award for a system called MINICINS that counters antibiotic-resistant microbes and aids treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
The competition, ‘iGEM,’ was held in Boston, US for biotechnologists in the field of Synthetic Biology. According to the college, over 2,700 students and scientists participated in the competition, regarded as the largest synthetic biology event in the world.
According to professor M Sivanandham, director of research, SVCE, the idea behind the project came from a World Health Organisation report that pathogens were becoming highly resistant to antibiotics.
“One of the major problems affecting treatment of bacterial infections is the rapidly increasing resistance of pathogenic bacteria, and this project has designed a biologic alternative to current antibiotics to treat diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” he said.
He added that global problems on bio-film formation could be solved. “The formation of bacteriological bio-film (a thin film of microbes life) in industries is a major concern. A biologic designed using the above principle can prevent the formation of bio-film,” said Nalinkanth V Ghone, associate professor and instructor of the team.