Team:WITS-CSIR SA/Outreach/Forum


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First ever synthetic biology forum in South Africa

The University of the Witwatersrand iGEM 2010 team was the first African team ever to enter this competition. This year, the Wits team is back with new team members who make it their mission to promote synthetic biology and the iGEM competition. To achieve this, the Wits 2011 team attended the first synthetic biology forum in South Africa hosted by their co-sponsor CSIR together with the African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT). The team supervisors, Dr Musa Mhlanga and Prof Marco Weinberg gave presentations on synthetic biology and the ethical issues for synthetic biology were addressed by Prof Julian Kinderlerer, a member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. The 2010 team members shared their experiences while the 2011 members gave a short presentation on their project followed by a fun Q & A session. Students from other South African Universities such as University of Pretoria and UNISA showed interest in entering the competition. Who knows, next year the University of the Witwatersrand might not be the only South African University to enter their undergraduate students in the iGEM competition.