17. 02. 2020 Issue 68
Devising a Rapid Test for a Banana Disease and Wins Gold Award in iGEM Competition 2019

A genetic engineering team of undergraduate students from different disciplines devised a rapid test for a banana disease and won a Gold medal at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) 2019 Giant Jamboree held in Boston, USA.

Banana, the major food source in tropical areas, is being threatened by a new fatal disease called BXW. To realise early detection of disease and prevent it from spreading, the team devised a simple and portable test kit by transforming E. coli into a receiver of bacterial communication signal and enhancing the sensitivity of system with reference to and modification of previous experiment results. With devoted efforts and opinions from quarantine workers, banana experts in mainland China, and medical and genetic professionals, the newly invented test allows detection during early phases of infection even when the bacteria concentration is low.

The novel design has led the team to receive a Gold medal and CUHK to win for its sixth time in the annual premier synthetic biology competition. A test solution was also developed based on the team’s achievement and has been proven theoretically effective and reliable in laboratory tests, shedding light to help farmers and frontier quarantine departments to tackle the bacterial threat.

Team Members

University Press Release

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Table of Contents
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Graduation Ceremonies
Walk-in Consultation by Science Student Academic Advisors & CV Clinic
Science Alumni Sharing: Steps to become a Science Teacher
Highly Cited Researchers 2019
Newly Elected Member of The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences
Developing Novel Quantum Sensing Techniques to Measure Pressure-driven Superconductivity with Nano-diamonds
Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2020
Raising Public’s Awareness of Rare Diseases
Revealing Underestimated Carbon Stores in Tidal Wetlands
Redefining Coding and Non-Coding RNAs
Faculty Exemplary Teaching Award 2019
International Science Experience Week 2019 at the United Arab Emirates University
Devising a Rapid Test for a Banana Disease and Wins Gold Award in iGEM Competition 2019
Physics Alumnus Shares Workplace Tips
Outstanding Alumni Service Award – Career Development

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