NYU Abu Dhabi invention to detect food contamination wins gold

Device built by students to discover E.Coli bacteria wins top prize at a major US contest

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A simple test to detect contaminated food developed by a team from New York University Abu Dhabi has won a major prize in the United States.

The machine can detect dangerous E.coli bacteria cheaply, and within a few minutes.

The inventors won the first gold medal for NYUAD at the Giant Jamboree synthetic biology competition in Boston, over student scholars from 310 international teams.

The International Genetically Engineered Machine, or iGEM, is a portable device that can amplify genetic markers to reveal the presence of E.Coli in just 20 minutes.

The cost of each test is estimated at only US$4 or less than Dh15, meaning, the university says, it is: “A cost-effective solution to rampant food contamination in various parts of the world.”

The NYUAD team was the only one from the UAE, and included 12 biology and engineering students led by seniors Adrienne Chang and Khairunnisa Semesta.