Rabia Gul Dawar, Age 22, North Waziristan, Week 1.
You would probably be thinking right now that what on earth is iGEM? So first of all let me tell you what it is all about.
iGEM stands for International Genetically Engineered Machine. It is a synthetic biology research competition and a community that includes undergraduate university students, as well as high school and graduate students from all around the world. For us, it is our life until October when we will present our work at the Giant Jamboree in Boston, USA.
Synthetic biology is a new interdisciplinary area that involves the application of engineering principles to biology, where you can design and construct novel artificial biological pathways, organisms or devices, or redesign the existing natural biological systems. Interesting, right?
This competition started in 2004, but not a single team from Pakistan has ever competed in iGEM. So, I’ve been selected to be a part of the first ever team from Peshawar, Pakistan. We’re going to change history this year and make Pakistan proud! It feels great and I’m surely going to learn a lot.
Our team is culturally and educationally diverse, with members from every province of Pakistan and students from different fields of study such as Biotechnology, Biochemistry, and Genetics etc. We all are getting along because we all share the same interest, gathered under the same objective. Each and every member has a pile of ideas that can solve the real-world problems. We are soon going to finalize idea for our project and will start working on it. TOO EXCITED!