Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

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Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby Hayley5757 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:37 pm

Hi, my name is Hayley, I am 13 years old and from Australia. I have never entered a science fair before as they don't have them in schools in Australia so the only opportunity for me to enter one was the Google Science Fair 2013. I have always been interested in science so this seemed like a good idea.

The only problem is that I haven't been able to do an experiment to prove my findings. My project is "Why can genetics skip a generation?". The due date for the project is 30.04.13

I would be so grateful if you could help me!
Hayley5757
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 pm
Occupation: Student: 7th year ( in Australia, so ages are different)
Project Question: "Why can genetics skip a generation", I have finished my research but need an experiment to prove my findings and I don't know what I can do for it. I am entering the Google Science Fair 2013.
Project Due Date: 30.04.13 ( date, month, year)
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby SciB » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:05 pm

Hi Hayley,

Welcome to Science Buddies and the Ask-an-Expert forum. I will be happy to help you with your project. Genetics can be pretty confusing sometimes but the skipping of traits between one generation and the next usually results from one gene being recessive and the other dominant. For example, if Dad has black hair and Mom is blonde, the children will usually be dark-haired. But if two dark-haired parents have children, there is a chance they could have a light-haired child if they each carry a copy of the gene for light hair and the baby happens to get both copies.

One thing I would like you to be clear on is that the 'genes' are not skipping. The recessive gene is still there. It just doesn't show up because the dominant gene masks it. So, it would be more accurate to say that genetic traits such as hair and eye color skip generations.

Now about your project. If you could give me a little more information about it I might be able to suggest a way to test your hypothesis. What are your 'findings' and how did you get them? What are you trying to prove? Please explain more about what you did and I'll try to help more.

I'm glad you like science! The more you study it the more interesting it gets and the more fun you will have.

Cheers,
SciB
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Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby Hayley5757 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:38 pm

For my findings I have written this so far:


From what I've found out, there are many different reasons why genetics can skip a generation such as why recessive genes can skip a generation and why incomplete dominance can cause a gene to skip a generation. So I will explain why the recessive genes can skip a generation as it is one of the most common causes.

Let's say the mother has blue eyes and the father has brown eyes. In this case blue eyes are the recessive gene and the brown eyes are the dominant gene. It is common knowledge that you receive a copy of each gene from your parents, so basically everyone has two genes of each type for different traits though you could receive two of the same if your parents have the same traits. The copy you receive is random so you cannot determine which copy someone will receive. Obviously, only one of the genes in the pair is active, though you have a better chance of receiving the dominant trait rather than the recessive trait.
In this scenario, the child has brown eyes but received the blue eye gene from the mother and the brown eye gene from the father. The active gene is the brown eye gene causing the child to have brown eyes.

When the child eventually has a child with a person with brown eyes, that child has a possibility of then having blue eyes even though none of the parents have blue eyes. This is because when the parent with brown eyes received the copy of it's genetic, it got a brown eye gene and a blue eye gene, so even though it has brown eyes, it may be able to pass a blue eye gene to one of it's offspring as the copy of the gene the children receives from the mother and father is completely random.

The diagram explaining this would look like this:

"B" is the non- blue eyed gene and is capitalised as it is the dominant gene.
"b" is the recessive gene.

bb-BB ( the parents)

Bb ( the child)

Bb-BB (the parents)

Either BB or Bb, if Bb, it could have either brown or blue eyes. ( the child)

My results didn't support my hypothesis/ expected outcome, although it was close to the answer. I think my hypothesis was close to the answer as instead of being a genetic combination causing it to skip, one of the reasons was because of the recessive genes which is a type of gene.





My question/ proposal was this:

My question is why can genetics skip a generation, what is the process and how it occurs. Genetics are what makes you who you are and are part of your DNA. You may find that some of your traits aren't from your mother's or father's genetics but your possibly your grandparent's genetics. For example, your parents may be short and you are tall but one of your grandparents were tall when they were your age. This may be the cause of genetics skipping a generation. My project is to find out why this is, what the process is and how it occurs.

To help find the answer to the question, I will look at some traits that have skipped a generation from my/ other people's family. Then I will look at what causes these traits and possibly their different genetic combinations if it will help me with my question. I will also look at the different types of genes and what occurs in heredity.

My hypothesis is that there is a genetic code/ combination that is passed over to generation to generation which causes certain combinations to skip a generation meaning that some traits may of skipped a generation ( the passing over of traits due to genetics is " heredity").


What I am trying to prove is my findings and for this I have to do an experiment but I don't know what to do for this.

Thanks so much,

Hayley
Hayley5757
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 pm
Occupation: Student: 7th year ( in Australia, so ages are different)
Project Question: "Why can genetics skip a generation", I have finished my research but need an experiment to prove my findings and I don't know what I can do for it. I am entering the Google Science Fair 2013.
Project Due Date: 30.04.13 ( date, month, year)
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby Hayley5757 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:40 pm

I have just fixed up the errors to do with the genetic traits but it wasn't included in that copy...
Hayley5757
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 pm
Occupation: Student: 7th year ( in Australia, so ages are different)
Project Question: "Why can genetics skip a generation", I have finished my research but need an experiment to prove my findings and I don't know what I can do for it. I am entering the Google Science Fair 2013.
Project Due Date: 30.04.13 ( date, month, year)
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment

Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby SciB » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:05 am

Hi Hayley,

I wish I could give you a simple answer as to what ‘experiment’ to do, but genetics is a really complicated subject. Scientists have been studying it for more than a hundred years and there’s still an awful lot they don’t know about genes and how they are regulated.

Simple inheritance of one gene for one trait is not that common. Most things like height, skin color and even eye and hair color are the result of several genes working together along with influences of nutrition and illness in childhood. See these sites for some further explanations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Mendelian_inheritance and http://anthro.palomar.edu/mendel/mendel_3.htm

Experiments on genetics are conducted in labs using lots of equipment and specialized chemicals. There are, some tests you can do with your family and friends to determine whether they have certain traits that are dominant or recessive such as being able to taste PTC or smell the odor of bitter almonds. These are explained here: http://health.utah.gov/genomics/familyh ... 0guide.pdf

If you and your friends have big families, then you can map a number of traits such as height, eye and hair color, widow’s peak vs straight hair line, detached vs attached ear lobes, ability to roll the tongue and several more that are described on the websites. If a child has a recessive trait then you can say that both parents must have had the recessive gene (‘allele’) and at least one of their parents must have had it.

I hope I have given you some information that you can use in creating the kind of project that you want. Keep reading about genetics and inheritance. The more you know, the easier it is to think about and plan a science project. And, if you more questions, I’ll be here.

All the best,

SciB
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Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby microkts » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:14 pm

Hi Hayley5757,

Genetics is a very interesting topic. SciB gave you a lot of really great advice on finding an experiment to do. I just wanted to add a couple of things. Science Buddies has a tool for helping you find a project idea. Here is the link:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ndaproject

There is also a specific section on Genetics projects. Some of them can be done entirely on a computer with an internet connection. Here is the link:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... mics.shtml

I hope these help you.
Kierstyn
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Re: Stuck on idea for an experiment for my project

Postby Hayley5757 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:19 pm

Thanks, these ideas are really helpful!
Hayley5757
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 pm
Occupation: Student: 7th year ( in Australia, so ages are different)
Project Question: "Why can genetics skip a generation", I have finished my research but need an experiment to prove my findings and I don't know what I can do for it. I am entering the Google Science Fair 2013.
Project Due Date: 30.04.13 ( date, month, year)
Project Status: I am conducting my experiment


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