This year, Istanbul Tech iGEM proposed a project with the purpose of creating a detection system for illegal methamphetamine-based drugs. This system is constructed by an anti-METH single chain variable fragment (scFv) attached with fluorescent proteins. They expected to observe the FRET effect induced by the conformational changes in the scFv associated with binding of meth. In order to do this, they proposed building a DIY spectrophotometer in which a light input shines through a whole-cell biosensor, is detected by a color sensor, is processed by a computer, and emits a different wavelength output induced by ligand binding (FRET).

Because our team had some drylab experience, we were able to help develop this idea. We showed that a cell phone camera could be used instead of a high-quality color sensor to detect color changes. We also advised the team on arduino programming and the use of photoelectric multipliers.

More on Istanbul Tech’s project can be found on their wiki their wiki.


The XMU-China 2016 team created an information exchange platform, the iGEM Newsletter. This electronic journal has showcased the work of iGEM teams since 2014, as well as revealing the people behind the projects. This year, our team was one of 46 iGEM teams from 21 countries that participated in the Newsletter, briefly describing our project and our team.

The 2016 Newsletter can be found here.