An interdisciplinary team of the University of Thessaly won the top prize in the international iGEM Synthetic Biology competition organised by MIT university in Boston.
The team of ten students and alumni of the university presented its research project titled Odysee, which is an in-field test for diagnosing Tuberculosis (TB), aimed at being applied in refugee camps in Greece as well as worldwide.
"Refugees and migrants are in a very vulnerable position, deprived of their fundamental human rights, including access to healthcare. Tuberculosis is a leading health threat for populations affected by crises who lack access to innovative diagnostic tools," the team says on its website.
The International Genetically Engineered Machine (IGEM) is an international Synthetic Biology competition, the idea of which emerged from the workshop, organized in MIT, by Tom Knight and Drew Endy during MIT's Independent Activity in 2003 and 2004.
Since then, the concept of the competition has spread throughout the world, and each year more than 300 teams and 6,000 university and school students spend their summer preparing for the competition, and in the autumn they meet in Boston to present their research work and compete in the Giant Jamboree.