For the Human Practises component, we tried multiple things.

Bricks of Knowledge

To further collaboration and understanding of synthetic biology, we decided to participate along with iGEM Copenhagen in their project to easily explain some aspects of synthetic biolog. This resulted in a video, which can be found here


The concept here is to create something fun and interesting

Cats VS Dogs: The Game of Evolution

The game teaches how certain concepts of evolution work. Children could build an intuitive base and and interest for the sciences. Adults could play too and have fun! Among the concepts taught, there are those of:

  • natural selection and genetic drift
  • the benefits of genetic diversity in a population
  • competition and predation
  • other tidbits here and there.

In the box, you receive (see diagram of board):
The wheel of seasons: Indicates progress through the seasons. Genome Flipbooks: Represents a player's animal's genome. Categories of traits are lined up, each with various versions you can flip through and settle on. The side you have chosen your traits on must face outward from you so that other players can see your animal's traits. Cards: The playing cards that will be drawn at the beginning of each player's turn (so, once each season). They are usually in a deck on the board, face down, but you draw one of them every turn. Your hand should be hidden from sight from other players. Showing your hand to teammates is cheating! Board: A board with a ring-shaped continent's map, a little callback to our project! Pieces: Cat and dog pieces, multiples for each color. A few extra, shapeless pieces in different colors. (ex.: if a bear enters the game)

Goal of the game

You are two animal species competing for dominance of a new land. Teamwork is paramount. Every time your animal survives a year, your team gets a point. Every time it is eliminated, team loses 1 point. A standard game lasts until a team has 8 points, but players can choose any length they like at the beginning.

Starting phase: Players evenly divide into dog faction and cat faction, if there is an uneven amount of players a player on the team with less players can start with two different animals, OR start with 1-4 points depending on level of handicap. Each player picks a color for their pieces and set one piece on the starting peninsula for their team. They may pick their genomes out of sight from other players (ex.: under the table) or in sight. Once these have been settled, we begin in the first turn of spring. Roll dice to see who starts. Proceed clockwise for turns.

Time is Tickin

Turns: Every player has one turn each season. Once the previous player's turn is over, they must draw a card. If they have 5 cards in their hand they must discard all cards except one (this discourages hoarding cards!) Then may choose to skip their turn or enter a playing phase. In playing phase, they can move 1 space and play 1 card, in any order, or choose not to do one or the other. Years: Every time it hits spring, those that survived a full year multiply: they can put a new piece on the spot they're on, on the board. Someone else in the team takes control of that piece if they have no current animal, but they change the color of pin to their own, and must adopt the exact same genome as the person they took the pin from. (If multiple players in the team have no animal, they roll a die to determine who gets it.)

Notes on a growing (or decimated) army

There is no limit to how many pieces you can have on the board. All of them are under the control of their player's genome. When a turn for moving comes, you may choose to move only one of your pieces. Even if you have no more animal you can still play cards [if applicable. You can't play a card that required you to have a piece]. This way, nobody gets bored.
Cards are full of events: "Environmental Adaptation" events: season-long or game-long events! These can be played whenever it's your turn. Ex.:

  • (Winter only) It's freezing out here!: Players lose their animal unless they have big feet for digging dens or long fur for warmth.
  • (anytime) Climate: Mediterranean: Winter cards cannot be played in Winter. Lasts whole game unless someone else plays a Climate card. (so it would prevent a player from playing the "It's freezing out here!" card. Example of helping out teammates, you notice none of em have long fur or big feet for digging, you play this card to protect them.)
  • (anytime) Things are heating up: Every turn, summer lengthens on one side until the game ends or the entire board is summer.
"Predation and Competition" events: Event that may pick at numbers or restrict movement! May be beneficial to one team while detrimental to another team. May sometimes be detrimental to both.
  • (when you're sharing a spot with another player) Food shortage: Unfortunately, there's not enough food for more than one on this spot! All players on a spot that one of your pieces occupies must roll a dice. The highest numbered dice is the one that survives the round. Animals with a Build trait for Endurance are automatic winners.
  • (anytime) The burdens we Bear: Place a bear token on any unoccupied spot. Anyone who goes on that spot must either have camouflage for the season at the time or a Build trait for Speed to survive!
  • (anytime) Off My Territory!: Everyone who is sharing a spot with any of your pieces right now must move away on their turn without playing any cards… unless they have a Build trait for Power, in which case your own piece is removed from the board. [note: this can be played tactically if you need to switch your genome to something else fast and there just happens to be other pieces around you can play/team pieces to take up]
"Mutation" events: Events that permanently affect a specific individual. Until that individual gets eliminated, that is.
  • (anytime) Genetic disease: Roll a dice. In that amount of turns, player of choice's piece is removed from the board.
  • (anytime) Not what it Appears to Be: Did you know some genes can switch on or off as you grow older? Player of choice changes a trait of your choice (if on opposing team) or their choice (if on same team). [ex.: of how you can help a teammate]
  • (anytime) Haircuts are in style: Everyone's hair length gets shortened by one degree of magnitude.
  • These are merely examples, there would be much more!