Press Release

Genes in Space Competition Launches

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2015
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Genes in Space, a competition aimed at fostering creativity, collaboration and critical thinking among young innovators – opened a call for entries today.

The competition challenges U.S. based students in grades seven through 12 to design an experiment that can solve a space exploration problem through DNA analysis. The competition is sponsored by miniPCR, Math for America (MƒA), Boeing, The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and New England Biolabs®, Inc. (NEB®).

The winning experiment will be flown to the International Space Station (ISS).

Students can submit their proposals as individuals or in groups up to four, with the aid of an adult mentor, via The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2016, 11:59 p.m. PST.  

Five finalist teams will receive mentoring from world-class scientists that will help refine their experiment ideas and make them feasible for space. Members of the finalist teams will be invited to gather in San Diego, Calif. in July 2016 to present their proposals at the ISS Research and Development Conference to a panel of scientists, educators, and technologists who will judge entries and select a winner.

“This contest is truly unique – a creative way for students (and their teachers!) to engage in science and mathematics in novel ways that encourage imagination, discovery, and problem solving,” said John Ewing, MƒA President.

Finalists will receive a donation of a miniPCR DNA Discovery System for their educational institutions. These donations will enable the same hands-on biotech experimentation available at high-end research laboratories.

The winning team will attend Space Biology Camp at New England Biolabs to prepare their experiment for space flight and be invited to witness their experiment launch.

Anna-Sophia Boguraev (17) from Bedford, New York was the winner of the first Genes in Space competition. Her experiment, scheduled to launch in March 2016, will test the effect of microgravity and cosmic radiation on the immune system.

About the Sponsoring Organizations:


A unit of The Boeing Company, Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Defense, Space & Security is a $31 billion business with 53,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.

Math for America

Math for America is a nonprofit organization that aims to make teaching a viable, rewarding, and respected career choice for the best minds in science and mathematics. The MƒA Master Teacher Fellowship achieves this goal by bringing together outstanding, experienced teachers to share knowledge, advance teaching skills, and define excellence itself. This remarkable community of teachers is changing the very landscape of science and mathematics education. MƒA offers fellowships and advocates for this model around the country, so that all students can have great math and science teachers—teachers who are true masters of the subject matter and deeply committed to the craft of teaching.


miniPCR reinvents lab technology to make science simple, accessible, and exciting, enabling everyone to experiment at the cutting edge of biology.

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) 

CASIS was selected by NASA in July 2011 to maximize use of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory through 2020. CASIS is dedicated to supporting and accelerating innovations and new discoveries that will enhance the health and wellbeing of people and our planet.

New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB) 

NEB is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. For over 40 years, NEB has been committed to the advancement of science and science education. For more information on our products and corporate initiatives, please visit


SpaceRef staff editor.