University of Calgary

Students to compete at MIT with biosensor to help detoxify tailings ponds

Submitted by tdroden on Tue, 2011-11-01 11:06.

Nov. 1, 2011

A group of undergraduate students at the University of Calgary will compete this weekend in the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) World Championship Jamboree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Eleven students from the Faculties of Medicine, Science and the Schulich School of Engineering created a biosensor that uses genetically modified bacteria to detect levels of naphthenic acids (NAs), which are environmental toxins found in oil sands tailings ponds.

Media are invited to visit the lab where the students spent months growing the bacteria and experimenting with ways to enable it to detect NAs.

What: Media availability with University of Calgary iGEM team        
When: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
            10:30 a.m. - Laboratory demo
            10:45 a.m. - Interviews
Where: Health Sciences Centre, Foothills Hospital site, 3330 Hospital Dr. NW
             Meet at the Information Desk in the lobby across from Parking Lot 6
             Map: www.ucalgary.ca/dnalab/contact_us/directions
Interviews: iGEM team members
                    Faculty advisor Lisa Gieg, Petroleum Microbiology Research Group

Media contact:
Jennifer Sowa
Media Relations Officer, Schulich School of Engineering
Cell: 403-993-8679, Email: jsowa@ucalgary.ca