Thank you 2017 US contestants!
To the 375 teams and nearly 850 students who participated in the 2017 Genes in Space US contest, thank you so much for your contribution!
You came from all across the country from as far away as Alaska and Puerto Rico. You proposed to study an amazing range of topics from the effects of cosmic radiation and microgravity on astronauts' bodies to the opportunities the space environment might create to address human disease on Earth. You expressed your concern about our ability to reproduce in space should climate change force us to leave Earth, and identified many organisms that have the potential to be used to provide food, oxygen, and energy on deep space missions.
In your drive to understand how life responds to cosmic conditions you proposed to send organisms representing every branch on the tree of life to the International Space Station, from viruses and bacteria to chicken embryos and cockroaches.
Overall we were blown away by your creativity, knowledge, and enthusiasm for space DNA science. You made our task of selecting Finalists and other winners very difficult. We are excited to announce the Honorable Mention winning teams and the Constellation Award winning schools in the next blog post. We will be announcing the Junior Scientists Awards and the 2017 Finalists on Tuesday, May 16th.
All contestants have helped to pioneer DNA science in space. You should all be proud of your achievement. Thank you for your contributions to Genes in Space and for continuing to inspire us.
The Genes in Space Team