Lars Blank and Nick Wierckx (coordinators of P4SB) are researchers across Europe that are jostling for early leadership in the nascent field of synthetic biology, as shown in the interview of James Field about "Building with biobricks" (Research Europe, 30 July 2015).
The iGEM Team Berlin 2015 is an assembly of highly motivated students from different universities. Their team is made up of 12 undergraduates and postgraduates from different disciplines as well as supervisors. Due to the multidisciplinarity this team is able to find different strategies to solve complex problems in synthetic biology. To reduce microplastic in water is the aim of the interdisciplinary iGEM Team Berlin!
In this recent paper, the P4SB consortium discusses the state of the art in plastic recycling through synthetic biology, and proposes a novel approach using Pseudomonas putida as a chassis for a novel, synthetic strain with enhanced capabilities.
Prof. Blank - coordinator of P4SB - is attending the iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree (http://2015.igem.org/Giant_Jamboree). The Giant Jamboree is the annual event where all of the collegiate and high school iGEM teams come together to present their synthetic biology projects. This year more than 260 international, multidisciplinary teams are eager to share and celebrate their work.
The iGEM competition encourages university and high school student researchers to work in teams and solve real-world challenges by building genetically engineered biological systems with standard, interchangeable parts called BioBricks from the Registry of Standard Biological Parts. Each team manages their own projects, advocates for their research, and secures funding. Teams are also challenged to actively consider and address the safety, security and environmental implications of their work.