Pesticides on Cells, Cell Culturing

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Pesticides on Cells, Cell Culturing

Postby chalupa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:16 pm

Hello, and thanks for taking the time to read my post.

My idea for the fair in February is to examine the effects of pesticides at the cellular level.
I hope to be able use distillation to separate the active ingredient out of liquid pesticides and then test proliferation (through count), morphology, and viability (through dyes) on a human (or mammalian) cell type such as dermal fibroblasts.

In your opinion, can this be done in the 3 months that I have left, or should I modify the experiment? Currently I do not have a mentor but I live near a university. I also might be able to have access to some of the university hospital's equipment through a friend's parent.
Are there any problems with this plan that anyone more experienced would be able to find?

Lastly, does cell culturing require a lot of time and practice to be able to do correctly?

Thanks for your time and I would greatly appreciate any advice.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:42 am
Occupation: Student: 10th grade
Project Question: Toxicity of Pesticides
Project Due Date: 2/2013
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Pesticides on Cells, Cell Culturing

Postby heatherL » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:59 am

Hi chalupa,

Cell culture is not my particular area of expertise, so hopefully one of the other mentors can add to this response later. However, I think your first step is to contact a mentor, since you will definitely need access to an appropriate lab environment in order to perform cell culture. Here are some tips for contacting a mentor: ... tors.shtml

Three months gives you a good window, but finding a mentor may take some time; so I recommend that you get on that right away! Your (potential) mentor will be able to give you a better idea of whether your time frame is realistic, and can also help ensure that your experiment goes as planned.

Please post again (in this same thread) if you have more questions along the way.

Good luck!

Posts: 889
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 3:59 pm
Occupation: Professor
Project Question: How do different animals adapt to their environment?
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Re: Pesticides on Cells, Cell Culturing

Postby chalupa » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Sorry for the late reply, and thanks so much for your help.
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:42 am
Occupation: Student: 10th grade
Project Question: Toxicity of Pesticides
Project Due Date: 2/2013
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Pesticides on Cells, Cell Culturing

Postby sarahlaugtug » Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:33 pm

Hello chalupa,

Are you using a project from this website? If so, which one is it?
Also what would help me is to find out from you what your hypothesis is. What will you be testing for exactly, such as: "Based on my research, I hypothesize that the active chemical in plant pesticides, known as ________, will inhibit/ prevent, etc. mammalian cell growth. That was only an example.

Here are some safety guidelines you should adhere to: Also, is this project for the ISEF? ... ents.shtml

Cell culturing can be lengthy, especially if this is the first time you are doing it. This is an ambitious goal for a 3 month time period. I would work on breaking the project into a smaller chunk, such as: obtaining the pure chemical from pesticides and purchasing previously established cell lines. You could measure different pesticide concentrations (of the same chemical), to see how it affects growth/ deterioration of cells. This would not be a molecular project since you would be observing cellular components, i.e. do the cells die off, change shape, deteriorate, etc? You will need a compound microscope for this.
Here is more info on cell culture:

Also, you will need to work in a professional scientific lab, either through a college, university, or laboratory facility because you will be working with hazardous chemicals, biological agents, toxic materials. Extreme safety precautions need to be taken, and you will need a supervisor. I'm not sure if someone at your level would be able to obtain or use mammalian cells, so you should check with your school or science lab.

Here are some other ideas similar to what youre interested in:
This project is very similar to your interests, but less dangerous, costly, and time consuming: ... ml#summary ... ml#summary ... p018.shtml

Let us know if you need further help or have questions about any of this. Happy Holidays!
Always remain curious,
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Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:49 pm
Occupation: Biology, Ecology Educator
Project Question: Ask an Expert Volunteer
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