Young Min, grade 11, recently participated in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition in Paris, acting as the experiments leader for Team Korea-HS. Among thousands of competitors, Min and her team were awarded a gold medal, received prizes for Best Sustainable Development Impact and Best Measurement, and were a top five nominee for Best Integrated Human Practices.
The iGEM competition is a synthetic biology competition that began in 2003. Teams are provided a kit of genetic components to use in lab experiments. Min’s team comprised Korean-American and Korean students, who spent a period of eight months conducting experiments, consulting and collaborating with university teams and field experts on their project, which dealt with the optimization of producing cultured meat. The team ended up engineering a cell-powdered meat that provides three times the amount of protein as regular beef tenderloin.