To put development of artificial life forms in the open where it should be.

The A-PRIZE serves as a clearing house for information about the race to "Break the Carbon Barrier". With mega-universities and companies racing to create nonbiological life, now is the time for such a clearing house.


With the reality that Nanobiotechnology (in its various guises including Synthetic Biology, Artificial Life, Biological Engineering, etc.) is pouring billions per year into the global race to break through the Carbon Barrier, now is the time to focus on this issue.

A bacterium with nonstandard DNA would be immune to bacteriophages, and would therefore have a much higher chance of becoming a broadly successful invasive species. That could devastate ecosystems on a scale that we don't know the limits of. So let's try to handle the development of artificial life in an open and responsible way by putting development in the open and engaging in development in a safe manner.


The A-PRIZE was developed by our Scientific Advisory Board member Alan H. Goldstein who coauthored the National Research Council's triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Input was also provided by other members of our Scientific Advisory Board including Chris Phoenix and Mark A. Rothstein. Read our interview with Alan H. Goldstein!

It is awarded to the person or organization responsible for creating an Animat/Artificial life form with an emphasis on the safety of the researchers, public, and environment OR the person or organization who shows that an Animat/Artificial life form has been created.

The second case is to uncover unpublicized or unsafe projects.

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1. The development of artificial life must occur in an open and responsible manner.