Wheeltz - CSS3 Navigational Wheel Menu

  • Home
  • iGEM
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Low Budget iGEM

Lab Constest


It is well known that doing science is expensive and lot of economical resources are needed, specially in Synthetic Biology.Processes like PCR, DNA extraction, miniPrep, among others, need specialized equipment and chemical compounds that have considerably high prices and only a few people can afford them. Costs in materials affect the development in Latin American researches in the Synthetic Biology field and the formation of new iGEM teams in Latin America.

Considering this we decided to organize a non-time consuming competition called Low Budget iGEM that aimed to demonstrate that most of the protocols may have a new and cheaper way go being conducted. We also wanted to know the teams before the competition.

What was the competition about?

The teams that accepted this challenge had to design a new and cheaper way to make a normal protocol in the lab. At the beginning, we proposed that the participants could choose between PCR, DNA extraction and transformation but we decided that they could do any other protocol the want to. We received excellent and very interesting results, we invite you to check out the process.

Contest notice

As soon as the idea came out we try to contact as much teams as possible trough Twitter and we had the opportunity to have Skype meeting with some of them:


Skype Meeting with Tec Monterrey Team

We talked with almost 25 Teams all around the world, some times we had to wake early in order to communicate with them. We send a pdf file with the contest's instructions to everyone that seemed interested, you can check it:

File:Col LowB.pdf


We also made this video to remind the teams about the contest and to gather more participants:

Our participants



This team developed a cheap and easy way to extract DNA from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli . The used concentrated grape and garlic juice to replace the EDTA; NaCl to replace the potassium acetate and commercial soaps in order to replace the lysis solution. Here you can find a file with the complete description here

KIT-Kyoto. What would be of iGEM if we could not transform? KIT-Kyoto thought it was a great idea to make this common lab process a cheaper. Check here their presentation

Col KIT.png

Aalto-Helsinki and ETH_Zurich

We had a collaboration within a collaboration! These two teams decided to work together designing a manual PCR that uses a microwave oven as their main equipment instead of the thermocycler we use daily at the lab. Check the document here: and their video:


The Minnesota team developed a novel and chela way to creat a DIY stir plate with magnets! Check the video of their results:


This team created a cheeper way to make competent cells. The idea is to use calcium-citrate that can be bought from the pharmacy. You can read all about their project here:

Col Calgary.png

Calgary results

The Winner

All the participating team have a Sticker like the one below in their wiki. The Winner of the contest will be announced in our presentation in Boston! So…SEE YOU THERE

Col Sticker.png

Thank you all for participating! Congratulations to our winner, the Tec Monterrey Team.

Back to Human practices