Welcome to the Challenge
Welcome to the Australasian Synthetic Biology Challenge! Through participation in this challenge, you are helping to build an accessible, vibrant, diverse, and connected synthetic biology community across Australasia. The challenge aims to create a framework through which student teams and their mentors in academia and industry can apply synthetic biology principles to tackle real-world problems.
The Australasian SynBio Challenge aims to be a catalyst for scientific innovation to launch future investment in Australasian Synthetic Biology. Through the challenge, we aim to stimulate training in Synthetic Biology by integrating SynBio principles into the Australasian university curriculum. Participants in the challenge will be able to join a team and tackle real world problems. The teams will be connected to a community of Synbio researchers in both academia and industry. By reinforcing these professional connections we hope to move closer to a resilient bio-economy that can address some of the world's most pressing challenges.
DESIGN, BUILD, TEST AND LEARN!
The premise of The Challenge is simple, Universities across Australasia can form a team or multiple teams to work together to develop and progress an original synthetic biology project designed to be innovative and scientifically feasible. Team participants can be either Undergraduate and Master's level research students. As a challenge team, you will have opportunities to receive feedback on your project ideas from experts in the field before getting into the lab and building and testing your biological designs. Throughout the process, you will have opportunities to learn from other team members and from a wider synthetic biology network to push your project forward. Your team will have opportunities to not only develop scientific skills, but to consider the larger social, cultural, environmental and economic implications of your project.
INTRODUCTION TO SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
The ideas behind synthetic biology have been around since the advent of molecular cloning techniques but are now becoming a reality due to the significant drop in the cost of two key technologies: DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis. Synthetic biology sits at the interface of biology, chemistry, computer science and engineering. This merging of different approaches enables us to look at biology in a manner more accustomed to an engineer, abstracting down (but still appreciating!) the intricate connectedness of biological systems and treating genes, proteins and cells as discrete parts and components that can be re-assembled and re-engineered to create new systems with novel functions. It is a field that aims to provide sustainable, bio-based solutions to some of our biggest problems but also help push the bounds of our knowledge and understanding of the world around us.