Jennifer Tsui, assistant professor of biology, and senior biology majors Sabrina Delgadillo, Micah Madrid and Noble Woodward presented “Bioengineering with the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition,” Tuesday in the President’s Dining Room.
Bioengineers use computers to look at natural biology similarly to the way computer scientists think about circuits.
Tsui is the research adviser for the La Verne iGEM team.
For their project, “A Bioengineering Solution to Plastic Pollution,” the team created a device called a ram pump that grabs contaminated water from a water treatment plant, cleans out the micro plastic fibers, then pushes the clean water back out into the system.
Plastic pollution is hurting our oceans and harming wildlife, the students told the audience of about 20 people at Tuesday’s presentation.
The three seniors who presented Tuesday were among a group of nine La Verne students who will compete in the iGEM Jamboree, an annual student research competition, for which the students will travel to Boston next week.
The event, which featured more than 300 teams from around the world, allows students to compete showcasing their biosynthetic projects.
“It’s so interesting to look at all these projects other teams have come up with,” Delgadillo said.
While the La Verne team’s project is environmental, other student projects are focused on physiology, the medical field and more.
“Our ideas are 100 percent novel, but as we are doing our research we saw that (others) did similar research, so we looked at those projects but we made it our own,” Delgadillo said.
“I think the way they are going about their whole research is really creative,” sophomore English major Alexis Reyes said.
“It is important to have lectures like these just for the public and students, because it gives us information that we don’t necessarily hear on the daily,” said sophomore political science major Alexandra Alacala. “Its good knowing that students our same age group are doing something positive towards the future, especially with ocean conservation.”
The iGEM team leaves for Boston next week to present their findings.
Maydeen Merino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.