Welcome to the Science-World

What is the goal of our project?

Our aim is to make science comprehensive and accessible to children, young adults or everyone who always wanted to take a look inside the world of science but never had the access or opportunity. We strongly believe that being scared of science is a huge problem in nowadays society. As the new generation of scientists we now have the opportunity to make the science world less elitist and thus less scary. We invite you to click through our website to educate yourself and more importantly have fun glancing into our world.

What makes science aesthetical?

It is hard to describe the beauty of science in such a short text. The most beautiful thing about science in our eyes is a deep understanding of ourselves and our sourrings. Science offers you the perspective to see yourself as a complex organim sourrounded by other complex organisms and structures. By understanding how small every living compound is, you recognize the chance of things beyond your imagination. It gives us hope to make the world a better place. And thus every petri dish, every pipette and every structure of protein becomes magnificent.

Why do we want to reach you?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, it became clear to us, that a misunderstanding of science feeds fears. A misreprensentation of science in the filmindustry may also contribute to this fear. Yet science is the most fullfilling and most significant thing we have seen or practiced in our life. The joy and the beauty we were able to explore is something we want to share. Not only to fight the fears, but also to make science more appealing and accessible. We truely believe that science can make our society flourish and give us new perspectives for a better living. We hope to gain your interest with our projects and bring science a bit closer to you.

Our Project

Synthetic Biology Escherichia Coli Cyano Bacteria DNA DNA Ribosome Ribosome Plasmids and Cloning Plasmids and Cloning Enzymes Enzymes DNA Expression DNA Expression Ribosome Ribosome DNA DNA

Terpenoids are one of the largest classes of plant secondary metabolites featuring many commercially relevant products. They are primarily used as food-flavors or fragrances, but some terpenoids, like artemisinic acid, are also important pharmaceuticals.

Today most terpenoids are extracted from plants they naturally occur in. Due to their low concentration in plant biomass, large cultivation areas are needed to cover demand. Some terpenoids can also be produced synthetically, using petrochemical starting materials. Only in a few cases biotechnological approaches have been successfully used for the production of terpenoids.

Surprisingly, despite their chemical diversity, many terpenoids only require two main classes of enzymes for their biosynthesis from the common building blocks IPP and DMAPP, cyclases and oxygenases. While cyclases can generally be expressed and used in prokaryotes like E. coli oxygenases naturally occur as membrane-bound protein complexes. For functional expression in E. coli soluble versions of these proteins are required, as well as compatible reductases. Expression of these proteins also place significant strain on the energy metabolism of E. coli. We are addressing these problems by creating fusion constructs of the oxygenase and reductase proteins, as well as increasing the availability of NADPH.

Clearly these plant products offer many opportunities for synthetic biology to make their production both more sustainable and more economical. We, the iGEM team Hamburg, want to join many other researches in making terpenoids more accessible.

"Science is not only a disciple of reason but also one of romance passion."

Stephen Hawking

Lab Gallery

Escherichia coli
Cyanobacteria/ Synechocystis
Gel electrophoresis
Enzyme, Cytochrome P450 Reductase

Science meets Art <-> Art meets Science. This collaboration work is brought to you by Felipe Lobos and iGEM Hamburg. Felipe Lobos is an independent artist from Chile. The abstract paintings he usually produces are colorful eye catchers. He did not fear the combination of science topics with art and experimented with this new concept. We are honoured to host this paintings on our platforms, as they provide an artistic perspective on science and science communication. Plus, they look amazing.

To explore more about the work with Felipe Lobos and his perspective on the work, check out our interview with the artist on our blog section.

Also, check out the instagram profile of Felipe Lobos to explore other recent work from him.

International Gallery

Science meets Art <-> Art meets Science

Besides our Lab Gallery, we wanted to continue sharing the art of science. Our goal was to let iGEM Teams around the world contribute to using another form of communication – artwork. They encouraged us to continue with this beautiful project and even wanted to be part of it. Inspired by our idea, the teams created their own artwork to present important aspects of their project. Since our goal was to integrate science and art equally, they did not only let their impressive artwork speak. But they explained its scientific background and impact in an understandable way for everyone. We created an international Lab Gallery with the help of iGEM Kaiserslautern, iGEM Bonn, iGEM Ohio State University, iGEM Wageningen, iGEM Nantes. Mutual collaboration and the exchange of ideas are something that defines iGEM teams and pushes them to be a better version of themselves.


Proteins that occur naturally in the human body require special effort to be successfully replicated in transgenic organisms. Among other things, this is due to the fact that proteins undergo a variety of molecular modifications, which differ from organism to organism.

The team’s vision is to establish an efficient and elegant method to produce medically relevant proteins. The Modular Cloning System is the genetic engineering method used to design the proteins, and Leishmania is the organism in which they ultimately produced them.

The Modular Cloning system is a biotechnological application that can be used to assemble entire gene constructs from mutually compatible DNA building blocks in just a few steps.

Leishmania tarentolae is used for this application, because compared to other eukaryotic organisms it is easily cultivable but also provides advantages of eukaryotic expression systems like special human-like protein modifications. This will allow the production of therapeutic proteins that are more similar to natural human proteins.


Globally, our planet suffers from a large excess of reactive nitrogen. In the Netherlands specifically, fifty percent of total nitrogen emissions originate from the intensive cattle industry. Nitrogen forms, e.g. ammonia, have been accumulating over time, impacting local ecosystems. As a response, drastic political measures were taken which polarized the Dutch population. Besides ammonia, cattle naturally emit the potent greenhouse gas methane. Responding to both threats, the team is developing “Cattlelyst”, an innovative biofilter for cattle stalls that removes methane and ammonia. “Cattlelyst” relies upon a synthetic co-culture of two non-pathogenic bacterial species that grow and convert these harmful gasses, without accumulating intermediates such as nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. The engineered bacteria will be contained within the biofilter by means of a multi-layered safety mechanism. Thanks to these features, our biofilter provides a biological, animal friendly and biosecure solution to reduce the ecological footprint of our current food system.

Ohio State

A bacterial infection can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening condition which causes widespread inflammation that can lead to organ damage. Sepsis is caused by the immune system overreacting to molecules on the surface of bacterial cell walls. One of these molecules is lipid A, which is produced by gram-negative bacteria.

The iGEM Team of the Ohio State University designs a phage to produce an enzyme eliminating lipid A in those bacteria. A phage is a virus, which only infects bacteria and, therefore, does no damage to the human cells. The virus invades the bacterium by injecting its own DNA. Since the virus is genetically modified, the DNA inside the phage codes for a specific enzyme - an enzyme that inhibits the synthesis of lipid A on the bacterial surface.

As a result, the risk for sepsis decreases.


The iGEM Team Bonn works on a genetic engineering project which aims to replace current processes in the rare-earth element metallurgy industry. New sustainable technologies can be implemented in this industry to reduce environmental impact.

The team proposes the use of the recently discovered bacterial protein lanmodulin (LanM) as a more environmentally friendly, efficient, and hopefully more economical alternative to present extraction methods. In the labs, LanM is being applied for selective binding and extraction of lanthanides from ores. The project covers extraction matrices already described (coal, electronic waste) to include ores that are important in terms of resource policy.

The process developed by the iGEM Team Bonn will encompass the entire extraction cycle including reuse of the protein and prepare for large-scale applicability.


This exponat is about the green tides that are washing up on the Brittany coasts and around the world.

Green tides are the events when green algae strand on beaches. This phenomenon started occurring in the 1970s and since then has been raising problems at the coasts where it appears. These problems include for example the production of toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is harming other organisms, and hindering boats to put out to sea.

The reason for the appearance of green tides is eutrophication, which means that waters are enriched with nutrients causing excessive growth of organisms like algae, especially the ones from the genus Ulva.


Here we share our recent lab project, collaboration work and steps along our journey.

About Us

Meet the iGEM Team Hamburg

We are 18 students from the Molecular Life Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Bioinformatics programmes at the University of Hamburg. This diversity of subjects in our teams composition allows us to learn from each other across subject boundaries, to optimally use the talents and abilities of each individual.

Our project is completely self-organized, from funding and project planning to experimental design and presentation. At the same time we can count on Prof. Dr. Zoya Ignatova to support us as our mentor with both scientific advice and in tackling regulatory hurdles.

We are proud to be a diverse team and currently enjoying the entire iGEM experience.

Contact Us!

Check out our Social-Media Content and learn more about the framework of our project!