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Help CCA iGEM compete!

Hello! We are CCA_San_Diego, an iGEM team and club based in Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, California. We compete in an annual competition called iGEM, short for international Genetically Engineered Machine, where we use synthetic biology to come up with a solution for a problem in today's society.

Our project uses synthetic biology, the genetic modification of organisms, to treat parasites found in drinking water. These parasites, responsible for causing the neglected tropical disease (NTD) schistosomiasis, affect nearly 252 million people annually and can potentially lead to death if untreated. Since these parasites tend to affect areas that share a communal water source, implementing this device could potentially help entire communities in areas of poverty or poor health standards. Our approach is to engineer bacteria, which will be cultivated periodically inside a device in an affected body of water, to produce an antiparasitic compound that directly kills Schistosoma worms upon release.  

Our project last year, which you can check out below with the link, was creating bacterial collagen in yeast so that it wouldn't have to be extracted from animals using inhumane practices. We won a gold medal at the competition last year, placed in the top 10 high schools internationally, and won the Best Education special award. We were also nominated for several other special awards such as Best Human Practices, Best Inclusivity, and Best Wiki.

We're asking for your help in fundraising because registering for the iGEM competition is very expensive (several thousand dollars!). Donations would not only help us pay for the registration fee, but it would also allow us to buy materials for the lab, attend the in-person competition in Paris, and buy materials for our summer camp. We're fundraising by getting sponsors and running a science camp for middle schoolers, but we would greatly appreciate any extra support you can give us to reach our goals.


Claire Kang
San Diego, CA

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