Farzana Afin (Master’s student in biochemistry) and Fahmida Afrin (Undergraduate student in civil engineering) won first place and $1500 in the Blue Sky Competition from an idea that hatched in collaboration with Michael Holmes, who is a recent PhD graduate from the department. This competition is sponsored by the Epicentre at UWindsor.
They generated a genetically modified cotton plant which grows coloured cotton instead of regular white cotton. This was done by inserting flower pigmentation genes into the cotton genome. Synthetic dyes are used to colour white cotton fabrics and about 700,000 tons dyes are run off into the waterways every year. This genetically modified coloured cotton would eliminate the need for synthetic dyes which are harmful to the environment. It is also cost effective because manufacturers will not have to purchase the dye.
Congratulations to all involved!