Israeli Tel Hai College participates for the first time in international Genetic Engineering Competition in Boston

For the first time, Tel Hai College, located in the Northern Galilee, is taking part in an international competition this upcoming Fall in Cambridge, MA in the field of Synthetic Biology, called iGEM. The iGEM competition provides a platform for students in the fields of Science and Economics to strive to better society with the help of genetic engineering, and this year a very diverse group of ten students from Tel Hai is taking part, working to develop a potential cure for the genetic and lethal disease known as Cystic Fibrosis.

The group itself is comprised of two immigrants (one from Venezuela and one from Chicago, IL), one religious student and one Druze student, along with others from all over the country geographically. Together, the group has been working for months in labs trying to repair the most prevalent disease causing mutation with the help of new and advanced molecular technology, as well as helping the Israeli CF Foundation raise awareness state-wide for the cause.

In addition to raising awareness locally, the Tel Hai team has reached out to other college groups world-wide to help other teams with their projects and receive help as well. An important element of this competition is brainstorming creative ideas with other groups to try to continuously progress, and help one another solve problems we have encountered throughout the project development. What better way to improve international links than through young entrepreneurship in science, and potential life-changing developments!

We would wholeheartedly appreciate your support, and  please feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and receive updates on our weekly activities and progress!

Remember, every breath truly counts!

About the Author
Allison Rosenberg is a student in the field of food science, studying at Tel Hai College. She made Aliya in 2005 from Chicago, IL and is currently living in Kiryat Shmona. Along with a very diverse group of 10 students including herself, she is working on a project aimed at finding a cure for CF, fixing the F508 mutation (the most prominent in Cystic Fibrosis) with the use of the CRISPR technology. This is the most common lethal genetic disease worldwide, and affects multiple organs, the most prominant being the lungs. Patients suffer from difficulties breathing in addition to malnutrition and as of now the average survival age is approximately 37 years. In addition to the lab work and research, her team is taking part in multiple projects aimed at raising awareness about the disease, and the 680 patients in Israel who suffer from it. Allison sees this as an incredible privilege and wonderful opportunity to represent her country and to truly better society with the help of science. Allison and her team will be competing in an international competition in the field of synthetic biology (Igem) in Cambridge, MA, and plan on continuing after that as well with our medical research in the Northern Galilee, and therefore, would appreciate any help and support available. Remember, every breathe that you take, is truly a gift!
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