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MINIMA at BioDesign Challenge

MINIMA at BioDesign Challenge

By In Hot News, News On July 25, 2018


CRI and Ecole Boulle becomes the first french student collaboration to participate in the BioDesign Challenge at MoMa in New York

Minima, the elementary biology lab, designed by a team of students from CRI and Ecole Boulle has been selected among the finalists projects of BioDesign Challenge, the interdisciplinary competition dedicated to biology and design.

What is Minima ?
Minima was born in the framework of the collaboration of Masters students CRI and Ecole Boulle during the Biodesign course organized by Marguerite Benony and Jake Wintermute from October 2017 to June 2018.

Following the study of the creation of a quick and easy DNA detector system by FdV Ph.D student Guy Aidelberg, Naiane Ribeiro Rios (Master’s degree student in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Sciences at CRI/Paris Descartes University) as well as Esther Bapsalle and Pauline Jourdan (both Master’s degree students in Product Design at Ecole Boulle) worked together on a simple kit made out of ceramic, glass and metal that would enable anyone to detect specific DNA sequences in their food at home. With this kit, it is henceforth possible to know if our baguette has been made with genetically modified wheat or if our camembert does not contain any pathogenic bacteria.

Their focus was both on the design of the different objects that compose the kit, as well as the DNA detection protocol that they had to adapt to make it self sufficient and user friendly to a large audience.

The goal of the kit, designed in a really minimalistic and beautiful way, has the potential to change the way people think about their food and about biotechnology, making it something everyone can feel, see and more importantly, understand.

Watch the video here.

Why participate in the BioDesign Challenge ?
The BioDesign Challenge is organised, since 2015, by Genspace (Brooklyn based Biohackerspace) at MoMA in New York City. This international student competition which sits at the intersection between Design & Science, offers university students in Design and Science the opportunity to envision future applications and implications of biotechnology on our society.

The winning teams are invited to New York City to showcase their designs in front of members of the academic, industrial, and design communities at the Biodesign Summit in June of each year.
The 2018 edition welcomed for the first time ever in the competition a french university collaboration between CRI and Ecole Boulle. Minima won the local competition between the teams at an event open to the public at Gaîté lyrique in April and became the first french project to be selected as one of the 8 finalists at Moma in NYC for the BioDesign Challenge.

This project has been possible thanks to the help and support of the CRI, the Master program and the Ecole Boulle

More info regarding DNA food detection :
Every living thing has a unique code written in DNA that has been evolving for billions of years.
Everything we eat contains a specific DNA signature. Biologists have found a way to detect those signatures with a blend of enzymes, nutrients, and specific DNA sequences, producing a color-change reaction.
For more details regarding the science itself, click here.

Project creators :
Esther Bapsalle, second year DSAA Product Design at ’Ecole Boulle
Pauline Jourdan, second year DSAA Product Design at ’Ecole Boulle
Naiane Ribeiro Rios, second year Master student Approches Interdisciplinaires du Vivant at CRI

Project mentors :
Marguerite Benony, FdV Ph.D students at University Paris Diderot in Design
Jake Wintermute, System biologist at INSERM and teacher in the AIV Master at CRI
Guy Aidelberg, FdV Ph.D student in system biology at University Paris Descartes
Vaiana Le Coustumer, teacher at Ecole Boulle
Vincent Rossin, teacher at Ecole Boulle