From 2014hs.igem.org

Track selections are due June 6.

Judges will be looking at each team's wiki, poster, and presentation to award special prizes.


  1. Food and Energy Project
    People need to eat. Planes, trains, and automobiles need to eat too. Can biotechnology be responsibly used to produce food or energy without causing widespread shortages of either, and without harming the environment that future generations will inherit?
  2. Environment Project
    The quality of the air, water, and land, both on Earth and other heavenly bodies, limits the happiness of humans and other creatures. Can biotechnology be used to help clean the air, provide fresh drinking water, restore or enhance soil quality, terraform a near-Earth asteroid, or protect, preserve, or enhance natural biological diversity?
  3. Health or Medicine Project
    Many health and medical problems might best be addressed by improved biological technologies. What can synthetic biology do?
  4. Manufacturing Project
    Have you ever heard of nanotechnology? Well, biology is a nanotechnology that already exists, and that actually works. The ribosome is a programmable nanoassembler embedded within a reproducing machine. Could we responsibly use biology to manufacture useful products, from the nanoscale (atoms) to the decascale (buildings and bridges)? What can biology be programmed to manufacture?
  5. New Application Project
    We're guessing that you have great ideas that nobody has ever thought about, or if they have they forgot to tell somebody else. Can you imagine an entirely new application area for biological technology?
  6. Foundational Advance
    Just thirty-five years ago, scientists could not cut and paste pre-existing fragments of genetic material like we can today. The discovery and application of DNA recombination allowed us to assemble new genes. The synthetic biology community needs other enabling technologies that help to make new accomplishments possible. What are other types of basic tricks does nature use? Have you discovered and applied one that could revolutionize synthetic biology?
  7. Informational Processing Project
    The diversity and abundance of biological properties, behaviors, and parts presents a huge information processing challenge. Has your project led to an innovative system that allows us to navigate and use lots of information quickly and effectively?

Special Prizes

  1. Best New BioBrick, Natural
    Most genetically-encoded functions have not yet been converted to BioBrick parts. In fact, most genes in the natural environment have likely not ever been sequenced. Thus, there are *many* opportunities to find new, cool, and important genetically encoded functions, and refine and convert the DNA encoding these functions into BioBrick standard biological parts.
  2. Best New BioBrick Device, Engineered
    New BioBrick Devices can be made by combining existing BioBrick Parts. For example, Inverters, Amplifiers, Smell Generators, Protein Balloon Generators, Senders, Receivers, Actuators, and so on.
  3. Best Human Practices Advance
    Will the world be a safe place if we make biology easy to engineer? How do the lessons of the past inform the discussion going forward? Think beyond just convincing people that “synthetic biology is good.” Find a new way to help human civilization consider, guide, and address the impacts of ongoing advances in biotechnology.
  4. Best Experimental Measurement
    There are a lot of exciting Parts in the Registry, but most of the Parts have never been characterized. Designing great measurement approaches for characterizing new parts or developing and implementing an efficient new method for characterizing thousands of parts are good examples.
  5. Best Model
    Mathematical models and computer simulations provide a great way to describe the functioning and operation of BioBrick Parts and Devices.
  6. Best Software Tool
    Computers have been around for a long time. How come we don't have more, great software tools for helping everything engineering synthetic biological systems based on standard biological parts?
  7. Best New Standard
    Standards help to make sharing biological parts easier. For example, the BioBrick DNA assembly standard makes it easier to construct parts from pre-existing parts created by the entire BioBrick community. What other sorts of standards can you create? How about a standard system for measuring promoter activity, a standard method for reporting compatible/ incompatible parts, a standard to help describe and control post-translational modifications (such as phosphorylation), or chassis-specific standards (for instance, a system for describing and sharing transgenic yeast)?
  8. Best Wiki
    The team Wiki is the “face” of your iGEM project. The team Wikis serve as the main project information resource for future iGEM students and teams, as well as the rest of the world. This award honors the “model” Wiki page, which exemplifies what the following year’s Wikis should strive for.
  9. Best Poster
    Posters should be attractive, clear, and concisely present your team's work.
  10. Best Presentation
    Presentations should be clear, engaging, and communicate your project to a broad audience.