Experimenting with living cells

A team of Missouri S&T students recently created a breathalyzer using cultured yeast cells and an E. coli-infested bacterium that changes colors in response to the presence of sugar. But they weren’t trying to gross each other out with creepy inventions. They were participating in a competition at MIT last November.


The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, or iGEM, pits 37 teams of university students against one another in the quest to develop genetically engineered machines designed to make living cells perform specific tasks not typically found in nature.
In the case of the breathalyzer, the students used their knowledge of biochemical reactions to make the yeast cells produce a visual response to the presence of ethanol. Then they engineered a device that could display an individual’s blood alcohol level.
“The iGEM students are learning skills that will have applications in the development of biosensors,” says David
J. Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences at Missouri S&T and one of the team’s advisors.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]