"Synthetic biology is an emergent interdisciplinary field that brings chemists, geneticists and microbiologists together with designers of electronic circuits, researchers of digital signal transmission and complex system interactions. It applies engineering principles such as the standardisation of parts and their organisation into complex circuits to recombinant DNA techniques. Its goal is to create organisms with desirable characteristics. Synthetic biology is also a valuable research tool used to elucidate the function of biological systems and inform their modification. UNIGEMS aims to select and create a compatible and extensible set of curated synthetic biology resources, develop them into low-cost packages of equipment and materials to assist in synthetic biology training and deliver practical courses for university students. The materials will form an entry point to expansion, modification and generation of synthetic systems, open to students’ and lecturers’ ’ ideas. UNIGEMS’ core set of curated resources will advance the understanding of synthetic biology techniques, its limitations and advantages, the ethical consequences of its use and its impact on society. It will promote wider engagement in synthetic biology in universities across Europe. The project combines: 1) Laboratory research in a cutting-edge field, developing and testing synthetic biology parts and modules; 2) Product development in preparing low-cost, laboratory-ready kits; 3) Preparing, overseeing, conducting and analysing an inquiry-based practical synthetic biology course for undergraduate students. The UNIGEMS project will allow the Fellow to gain expertise both in new research fields (bacterial genomics and physiology and engineering principles) and new science education experiences (product development, preparing and providing educational content for undergraduates). All of these experiences will enable him to set up his own gorup in Poland after completion of the project."
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