Cool iGEM Project: Creating the first Synthetic Biology-based Video Game

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It’s iGEM- Time, the world’s biggest synthetic biology competition! Since 2004, students are competing to create, explore and share their innovative ideas in the hot field of synthetic biology. All the teams then go to Boston (not at the MIT anymore since it’s stopped organizing the competition) to be judged and win a prize.

Each year, very cool projects are developed. One project in particular caught our attention, namely the one from Paris-IONIS. It is called BACT’Man, the first synthetic biology-based Videogame, which allows you to control a bacteria that avoid touching lasers.

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Team of IONIS iGEM

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Here’s how it works: bacteria are made fluorescent and introduced in a bubble with a medium containing lysosomes. The bubble is then put on a microchip connected to a controller and a screen. You can move the bubble and the goal is to avoid hitting the lasers, otherwise it will release the toxic content from the lysosome and kill the bacteria. In other words, Game Over!

The team just launched its kickstarter campaign to get a part of the funding to complete their project. They shot a video in French with english subtitles that better illustrates what they are trying to achieve:

Feel free to support them by visiting their kickstarter profile.

Hasn’t this ever be done before you’re probably wondering? Well, not really…

Riedel-Kruse Lab’s from Stanford University is exploring the world of bio-gaming, but with more traditional biotech technologies than synthetic biology. During last year’s iGEM, Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne in Switzerland’s initiative entitled BioPad was realized. The project consisted in a biological touchscreen where you had to stress E. coli and S. cerevisiae to receive a fluorescent response.

But back to BACT’Man! It is definitely a very cool idea that has its chance to reach the final in Boston and be awarded with a prize. But to do so,  the team i going to need your support. So what are you waiting for, Support them here 😉

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