Help! Some Project Ideas on Ethanol Production.

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Postby staryl13 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:15 pm

Hi Cici!
Sounds like you have a great start to your project. In general, it is always better to perform more trials. If you are pressed for time, I would still suggest you do at least two. More trials will yield more accurate results (always a plus for the science fair). Check out the ScienceBuddies guide for more info: ... dure.shtml
I think that using only Fleischmann's yeast should be ok, unless you want to try out other brands to see if there is any variation. Hope this helps, good luck!
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -Isaac Asimov
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Postby Louise » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:04 pm

cicichen wrote:Thanks Sonia!
Your suggestion on a double negative control sounds very helpful, I will certainly add that to my experiment!

I have some other questions that have been bothering me. I wasn't sure how many trial I should do for my experiment. My supervisor thinks once would be fine, and if the experiment fail, we will have many explaination to it. Do you think it's ok for me to do just once? If more trial is not neccessary, I would be happy to just finish my experiment and start doing my papers since my school science fair is about three weeks from now.

Second is that I want to use Fleischmann's yeast for S. cerevisiae, that's the only yeast will be tested on. Should I go and find more yeast with different brands? I'm thinking that it would all be S. cerevisiae so maybe I just stick with the Fleischmann's yeast.

Thank you!


I'm not sure what you mean by "trials". Multiple plates after transformation or multiple transformations? You should talk to your advisor about why he/she is recommending doing only one. It may be that one transformation is costly, time-consuming, 100% efficient, who knows. It certainly seems reasonable to make multiple plates after the transformation, if that is what you mean. You should also find out what the 'standard' is with regard to trials in microbiology, as it may vary from the normal guidelines of 'the more trials the better'. It could also be that your advisor is thinking this is a preliminary experiment and not a 'final project'. :( She/he may not understand that you need as close to publication quality data as possible for the fair.

I'm really impressed with your progress. Best of luck with the experiments!

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Re: Help! Some Project Ideas on Ethanol Production.

Postby Lise Byrd » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:27 pm


If you haven't already, I would certainly ask your mentor why s/he does not think that more than one trial is needed. It is a question that your judges will ask at the fair, so you will need to have an answer prepared, especially if you have only done one trial.

Here is one possible reason: Because you are doing a transformation, you don't necessarily need more than one trial if the first one works. You only want to know whether your gene has been transformed. Even if only one colony appears on your psyllium-husk plates, as long as it has all the properties you expect it to have, you will know that your transformation was successful. (The rate of transformation, however, would be very low in this case.) You can re-plate that one yeast colony to gain more colonies for other experiments.

You had mentioned that your school fair was coming up soon. Another thing I wanted to mention was that you don't need to view the fair as the endpoint of your experiment. You can always say in your "Future Work" section that you are continuing your research and are currently doing x, y, z, and that the results will be available in time for the next fair. You can also use comments from the judges to improve your research and directly address their questions. (For example, in one of my first fairs, a judge had suggested that I might get better results if I had run more trials. So I ran more trials before the next fair and included them in my poster.) Judges, especially at the upper-level fairs, really like it when students show that they are engaged enough in their project to continue it after the fair is over.

I hope your experiments are going well. Feel free to post if you have more questions. Good luck at your fair!
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Re: Help! Some Project Ideas on Ethanol Production.

Postby parker12 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:39 pm

Hello, I am a science student and i am looking for some ideas on ethanol production project.
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