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UCL iGEM 2016 | BioSynthAge


Look below to see the achievements of the 2016 UCL iGEM team

Medal criteria




We have registered for iGEM, had a great summer so far and now looking forward to attending the Giant Jamboree!


We completed and submitted the Judging Form.


We have documented the story of our project on our team wiki.


We are going to present a poster and give a presentation at the Giant Jamboree.


We have attributed our team members (and non-team members) and acknowledged our advisors and sponsors.


We have created and documented a new BioBrick part (LanA) (BBa_K1954000) and submitted them to the iGEM registry.






We have experimentally validated BBa_K1954001 and documented its characterization and submitted the part in the iGEM registry.


We have helped the members of a new iGEM team, get acquainted with all the basic techniques needed to compete in iGEM such as helping with characterising one of CLSB iGEM's parts. We’ve also been part of a plethora of other collaborations, as described in our collaboration page.


We identified, investigated and addressed the ethics, safety and social impact of our project in our human practices.






Integrated human practices


Improvement of our and Part:BBa_K729005 and and Part:BBa_K239009 biobricks


Proof of Concept


Demonstrate your work


General Achievements

ï Pioneering iGEM team to work on ageing

ï Highly diverse feedback and interaction throughout the whole iGEM community and greater society

ï Project as a whole was greatly shaped by constant feedback and integrated human practices

Experimental Achievements

ï Further characterised IrrE biobrick (Part:BBa_K729005) using lubrication gel

ï First step to a novel synthetic biology approach to preventing ageing of the lungs via a gene therapy (Part:BBa_K1954005)

ï Thorough characterisation of lycopene probiotic device (Part:BBa_K1954001) ] using different oxidative stress inducers

ï Characterised SPY-GFP as a ph sensitive promoter (Part:BBa_K239009)

ï We designed a novel Vitellogenin construct and put it into biobrick format (Part:BBa_K1954002) . This construct has the potential to transform the biocontrol of whiteflies, drastically improving agricultural yields.

Modelling Achievements

ï Modelled xylitol pathway

ï Modelled the L-Arginine pathway

Human Practices Achievements

ï Submitted a Parliamentary Question , which went through to Parliament

ï Meeting and discussion with UK Director of Public Prosecutions and Human Rights Lawyer Keir Stamer , who was recently appointed the shadow Brexit Minister of the opposition

ï Spoke to experts in the field of ageing and synthetic biology (Aubrey de Grey, Maximina, Filipe, William Baines, CEO Signum Biosciences, Piers Millet, Alexandar Stolzing, Janet Thornton, David Schlezinger, Eugenio Macchiarulo , Davit Eaton, etc.)

ï Engaged with the elderly through group discussions and activities (Elderlyhome Hamburg, Zumba ( , Tea Party)

ï Prototyped our own app to raise awareness of synthetic biology

ï Simulated old age with ageing simulation to better understand the needs of the elderly first hand

ï Global survey of perception on synthetic biology (with over 348 responses)

ï Organised a successful 3 day iGEM workshop for Year 8 students, iGEM workshop with Year 8 and 12 students from the Sutton Trust Summer School

ï Presented our project at the UCL Synthetic Biology Showcase , UK iGEM meet-up

ï Explored religion and ageing with different religious leaders (Jay Lakhani, Pastor Randall Lee

ï Discussed public policy with Jason Blackstock and David Kurten.

ï Concluded our project with a positive outlook on the future work to be done regarding ageing research.

Entrepreneurship Achievements

ï Exploring Londonís sugar substituted sweets landscape with London Sweet Shops

ï Visit to The Raw Chocolate Co for insights into the use of xylitol in industry

ï Spoke to 69 iGEM teams , 7 synthetic biology start-ups and the UKS leading SynBio labs we co-founded

ï Alphabrick got chosen to be fast-tracked to Cambride Universitys Judge Business School accelerator programme to bring our product to market by 2017 and won 1500 for winning the Biohackathon.

ï Created Xweet Business plan for the production of xylitol

ï Identified value chain and created a production plan using synthetic biology and biochemical engineering processes.

ï Filed for a provisional patent for our production process of xylitol.

ï Produced a prototype of a xylitol-containing confectionary good.