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Copenhagen's iGEM team wins Nordic conference

Team CosmoCrops received first prize and was recognized as having the best synthetic biology project among Nordic iGEM teams in Stockholm

For their efforts in bio-plastic generation in outer space, CosmoCrops took home the grand prize and will be hosting the conference next year here in Copenhagen.

The Nordic iGEM Conference (NiC) took place in Stockholm this past weekend, where nine of the ten Nordic iGEM teams, as well as a representative from the iGEM organisation, were represented. Two judges based their decision on official criteria from the iGEM organisation, and the prize consisted of a diploma and a golden pipette.

The CosmoCrops team receiving first prize at the Nordric iGEM conference in Stockholm. Photo by Bernd Konfuzius from DTU Biobuilders (The iGEM team from DTU).

“The diploma is ours and the golden pipette will be handed to next years winner of NiC. Also, it means that next year, NiC will be hosted by the team from University of Copenhagen, and all the Nordic teams will come to Copenhagen for the event,” says Joachim Larsen, a member of the CosmoCrops team and Master’s student in biology-biotechnology at University of Copenhagen (UCPH).

Preparing for the final competition

This year’s team, CosmoCrops, is using cyanobacteria and bacteria to create bio-plastic that can be used in 3D printers. The team hopes that generating bio-plastic in space will prolong a trip into outer space, and particularly repair any mechanical malfunction.

Since it’s conception, the team has altered their project slightly so that instead of using E. coli to produce plastic, they are now using the bacterium Bacillus subtilis, which can form spores that make it able to survive several years without needing any supplementary nutrition.

The diploma and coveted golden pipette. Photo courtesy of Joachim Steen Larsen.

In addition to traveling to Stockholm to participate in NiC, CosmoCrops has been presenting at various events and occasions around Denmark, like FantastiCon in Valby. In October, the team will travel to Boston, USA to participate in the final competition.

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