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Solving Food Safety Issues, CSMU NCHU Winning the iGEM Gold Award

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) successfully concluded in Boston, US on November 13, 2017. The iGEM contest was initiated by MIT and this year, there are 313 competing teams from the renowned high schools and universities around the world. It was intense competition. Although it was the first time that Chung Shan Medical University (CSMU) and National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) Taiwan had ever participated in the contest, gold medals was won nevertheless. On top of that, CSMU NCHU was also awarded three special nominations, namely, best website design, best entrepreneurship and best food and nutrition theme. The team was among the top three and top six in the world in the best food and nutrition theme and best website design categories.

Recently, food safety unrest issues are gaining widespread attention in Taiwan, NCHU team uses Aflatoxout as its main contesting theme, in hope that it could tackle food safety issue with the development in the preventive and post treatment to encounter aflatoxin harm.

Mainly, NCHU team uses aflatoxin test trip that was produced by Yu Feng-Yih(余豐益), Professor of CSMU and went a step further in improving the test trip production and inconvenience of using the strips. It combines the 3D printing technology, mobile application and cloud data in establishing a new testing platform that allows the general public to do the testing in a faster and more efficient method for ensuring food safety.

Furthermore, the CSMU NCHU team also improves the MSMEG5998 protein findings by Matthew C. Taylor, researcher of the CSIRO. The team also built a protein expression system from saccharomycetes production so that it is possible for mass, faster and low cost in domestic enzymes production. This research outcome is useful and could contribute to global agriculture industry since it could be widely applied to diffuse aflatoxin, such as antidote for acute intoxication or solving the problem of animal husbandry livestock food contamination.