STEB: Advanced

You are competing in this category if you have already participated in STEB during the previous school year.

Apart from that, if you are in the last year of high school, but enter STEB for the first time, you may also compete in this category.

Series 1: Genetics and Nature Conservation

Did you know that mass extinctions have occurred at least five times on Earth? Most of the species living at that time became extinct due to geological, climatic or other factors.

But in the first of this year's series, we'll look at the present, where the rate of species extinction is hundreds to thousands of times higher than the average rate of extinction over millions of years of life on Earth. Scientists warn that we are currently in the midst of the sixth mass extinction, and one of the Earth's species - ours - is causing it.

Series 2: Genetically modified organisms

Have you ever seen a "GMO free" sign in the supermarket? What does it mean? Why are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a cause for concern in society and why is their use strictly regulated in many countries? In this article we will take a closer look at the issue of GMOs and try to answer these and other questions about them.

Series 3: Origin of Eukaryotes

The emergence of the eukaryotic cell is considered one of the most fundamental events in the history of life on Earth. It enabled the evolution of organisms made up of cells that differed significantly from those previously found and ultimately led to the evolution of sexual reproduction, multicellularity, specialised cells and complex organisms such as mammals. But how did these complex cells evolve?

Series 4: The exciting world of genes and their origin I

The genomes of tomato and wildcat have much in common, but they are not, naturally, the same. Although they share some of their genes, some genes exist only in one species, others only in the other. How did this happen? What are genes, anyway, and how are they born?

Do all genes share a common origin? Can a gene leave its place and move away? How are new genes and new traits in organisms related?

We will try to answer these and similar questions in the first of two series on genes.

Series 5: The exciting world of genes and their origin II

In the second series on genes, we'll look at other interesting questions.

Can living organisms borrow or give genes to each other? Can a gene be stolen? Can it die?

Can a gene just suddenly come into existence? What would happen to a cell in which a new gene suddenly appeared?

How can we actually study the origin of genes and their functions?