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Genes in Space

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest, most complex international scientific and engineering space project in history. U.S. scientific research is conducted aboard the ISS with the crew working on experiments across a wide variety of fields including human life sciences, physical sciences and Earth observations.  That research will soon include a project designed by students.  

ISS_emblem Boeing, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Math for America, and miniPCR launched an innovative contest for students in grades 7 through 12 to design an experiment to solve a real-life space exploration problems through DNA analysis. The winning experiment will be performed aboard the International Space Station using a miniPCR machine.  

Five finalists were named in the first ever Genes in Space competition. The finalists were chosen from a competitive group of 330 applications from across the country. The student finalists are from Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.  

The contest was designed to foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking among young innovators bridging the biological and physical sciences. The proposed experiments cover a wide variety of topics – from the genetic code of alien life to the changes in astronauts’ microbiomes before, during, and after a trip to space.  

ISS is also a test bed for future exploration into deep space missions, including asteroids and Mars. Boeing, as NASA’s prime contractor for the ISS, provides research integration, sustaining operations and maintenance for the utilization of the station.  

For more information about the Genes in Space competition, finalists, and the honorable mentions, visit: and visit to stay informed about what’s happening on the International Space Station and space exploration.

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