BITS Pilani Goa team won Gold Medal at iGEM 2020. Team BITS Pilani-Goa led by Shruti Sridhar, with Prof Sumit Biswas as the PI, won the Gold medal at the iGEM 2020 Giant Jamboree on November 22. The team also won special awards for the Best Software and the Best Composite Part. Team BITS Pilani-Goa is the first ever BITSian team to participate in iGEM 2020. The iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machines) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of synthetic biology. Each year, they host the iGEM competition, where they give 250+ student teams an opportunity to push the boundaries of bioengineering through designing, building, testing and measuring systems of interchangeable biological modules with standard biological methods.
For iGEM 2020, BITS Goa focused on a problem plaguing the sugarcane industry: the problem of post-harvest sucrose deterioration. With an interdisciplinary team of twelve members from the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical branches, they came up with a solution — SugarGain, to help reduce the loss plaguing both the farmers and the mill owners. SugarGain contains genetically-engineered Escherichia coli that target the invertase enzyme responsible for this deterioration. More information about the project and the team can be found at the team Wiki (https://2020.igem.org/Team:BITSPilani-Goa_India).