Couple questions regarding project idea and mentor?

Questions related to finding and working with a mentor, finding an idea, etc.

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Couple questions regarding project idea and mentor?

Postby gotbeefjcao10 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:17 pm

Hi,

I have competed in Science Fair for the past two years, making it to county both times and placing third at State last year. I've always been interested in the medical field and wanted to incorporate that in my project this year. I have done some research over the summer and have decided on a general topic about cancer.

My problem question:
How do the potentially carcinogenic chemicals, such as formaldehyde, perchlorethylene, methylene chloride, oxybenzone, chemical dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and petrochemical ethylene oxide, found in common household cleaning products, affect the growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells compared to nicotine, a known carcinogen found in cigarettes? (I may also test colon or epithelial adenocarcinoma cells depending on the cost and other factors).

http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/project1163_104_4.html
Upon conducting my research, I came across this project regarding the affects of nicotine on adenocarcinoma cells and came up with my own idea of testing different household chemicals that are potential carcinogens on lung cancer cells. The website states that a Phosphatase assay kit was used to test the growth of the cancer cells. I've looked further into what a Phosphatase assay kit is; however, I am still confused about how it is used and whether or not it gathers quantitative data. How would I use a Phosphatase assay kit and are there any other ways to test the growth of cancer cells?

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Also, I read the "How to Find a Mentor" article earlier and I have a few questions regarding it. The article stated that I am supposed to ask the mentor if he/she needs any help in his/her lab over the summer. Would it be too late for me to start searching for a mentor now even though summer is almost over?

The article also advised me to show interest in the research of the mentor that I am contacting and conduct an interview to discuss more about his or her research. I have found the work of a cell biology professor at a local college, UCR, online. Her research involves identifying components in pomegranate juice that may stop cancer from spreading. Would her type of research and work be close enough to the concepts involved my project idea for me to pursue her as a mentor? Also, with any mentor, if I ask him or her if help is needed in the lab as instructed in the "How to Find a Mentor" article, would I still be able to work on my own science fair project or would I just be helping with whatever he or she is doing? How would I ask for his or her assistance in my own science fair project?

Sorry for this extremely long post. I just have a lot of questions and wanted to give some background info about my project. (: Thank you so much for your help.

Jessica
-- Jessica
gotbeefjcao10
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:42 pm
Occupation: Student - 10th grade
Project Question: How do the potentially carcinogenic chemicals found in common household cleaning products such as formaldehyde, perchlorethylene, methylene chloride, oxybenzone, chemical dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and petrochemical ethylene oxide affect the growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells compared to nicotine, a known carcinogen found in cigarettes? (I may also test colon or epithelial adenocarcinoma cells depending on the cost and other factors).
Project Due Date: Mid-January 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Couple questions regarding project idea and mentor?

Postby amyc » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:49 am

Hi Jessica - I've moved the other copy of your post into the Life Sciences forum. While you are also asking about mentors, I think you'll find you'll get the best assistance there in that forum, and the Experts who help you can offer advice in relation to your question about mentoring. We are in the process of scheduling our volunteers at Ask an Expert for the new school year, so I apologize for the delay in someone replying to your question.

Please keep all questions in the same thread to receive the best help and so that our Experts can build upon advice given to you, when possible!

Amy
amyc
Site Admin
 
Posts: 878
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:38 pm
Occupation: Science Buddies
Project Question: N/A
Project Due Date: N/A
Project Status: Not applicable


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