Life Science

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life science

Postby lety95 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:05 am

I'm wondering if there is a way to make a red and green color blind person see those colors or enhance the red and green in any way.
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Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:13 am

Is there a way for a red/green color blind person to see the wavelengths of 495-570nm (green) and 620-750nm (red)? I was thinking of creating a contact of some sort that could enhance the colors of red and green enough to where a color blind person could see in color.
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Re: Life Science

Postby jones_mdhs » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:41 pm

This is a very interesting question! Have you researched what makes a person "colorblind"? If they cannot perceive the colors of red and green, what can they perceive?

Mr. Jones
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Re: Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:47 pm

They perceive shades of black and grey. And yes, my partner and I have researched color vision deficiency, and we have found it quite interesting. We would like to know more about the possibility of making glasses and/or contact lenses for color blind people to see in color. Do you have any suggestions jones_mdhs?
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi Chelsey95,

You have an interesting question! People who are red-green color blind do see some color (not just black, white, and gray), but they see the colors differently than people who have all three functioning cone cells (red, green, and blue cones). Check out the sample "rainbows" on this Wikipedia page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_blin ... _blindness

The problem with color blindness is that the photoreceptors are malfunctioning. Photoreceptors are the cells that detect light and send signals to the brain in response to certain kinds of light. As I mentioned above, humans have three types of cone cells (the photoreceptors most sensitive to bright light):
(1) red-sensitive cones, (2) green-sensitive cones, and (3) blue-sensitive cones. These cone cells are named for the wavelength that most excites them.

The main problem for people with red-green color blindness is an inability to tell the difference between red and green. I do not think that you will be able to make them see new colors with special glasses, since you cannot change the funtionality of their cone cells; however, it would be interesting to see if you could design glasses that would refract light in such a way as to help make green and red more distinguishable. In other words, if the glasses refracted the two wavelengths differently, maybe the people would see them as two different colors (though probably still not as traditional "red" and "green").

I suggest that you do some more research on color blindness and light refraction, and post back here with your questions.

Heather
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Re: Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:04 am

Thank you so much heatherL! Your information has greatly helped me and my partner. Unfortunately, we have decided to change our project idea to something involving stem cells. Now, we are researching if it is possible to make a human egg out of stem cells, and mix it with a male's sperm to create a healthy zygote. Again, thank you very much for your help :)
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:57 am

Hi Chelsey95,

Glad to be of help! You have an interesting new idea, but you need to be careful with this one. First, human stem cell research is a controversial topic, so it would likely be very difficult for you to conduct an experimental project with stem cells without the help of a research or university laboratory. Even then, your science fair may not allow it, so you would need to check the rules.

Secondly, you need to understand that stem cells are developed after an egg and sperm have already united. Stem cells are diploid, which means they already have two copies of every chromosome (and thus every gene). Egg and sperm cells are haploid, which means they only have one copy of each chromosome. The zygote that results from the union of an egg and sperm is diploid, and gives rise to stem cells, which then divide by mitosis to eventually differentiate into the different cells in the body during development.

In order for the gametes (egg and sperm cells) to be produced, cells need to undergo meiosis, which is a special kind of cell division. In human females, the cells destined to become eggs (called oogonia) are already differentiated (and meiosis has partially started) before the female is born. Are you trying to make oogonia from stem cells? If so, you would likely need fetal or embryonic stem cells, which are the most controversial types. Even so, I'm not sure how you would induce those cells to undergo meiosis to form oogonia, particularly in vitro (outside of the living body). Egg formation in females is a very complicated process, controlled by many different hormones, and is probably not easily replicated in the lab.

I do not want to discourage your interests, but I do think your new idea would be more feasible for a research-type project rather than an experimental one. Please let me know if anything I have said does not make sense or you have any more questions.

Heather
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Re: Life Science

Postby lety95 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:50 am

Hi HeatherL! I am partners with Chelsey95 and we have found your last post helpful. Instead of using human stem cells we have chosen to do an animal like a frog or a rat for ethical reasons. We would not want to work with oogina cells since we would want to differentiate the cells ourselves. Would we need a hormone to differentiate the cells since we would be doing it outside of an animal?
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:20 am

Hi lety95,

I'm glad to hear that you are still planning to pursue the project that most interests you and Chelsey95! :)

It makes sense to use stem cells from a different animal for ethical reasons, but vertebrate animal use is still under strict regulation, so I urge you to check the rules for your school and science fair before going too far with the project. Also, you will likely need access to lab facilities, so it would be important to contact a local university or other research facility to find a mentor. Here is some basic information about how to find a mentor: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... tors.shtml

I believe you will need a certain protein to induce the differentiation of stem cells into oogonia. Start with the Wikipedia article about the development of oogonia (http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... tors.shtml) to help you with your research.

Here is an open-access research article about the pathway involved in the differentiation of oogonia: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Ad ... ne.0025641

I hope this helps. Keep up the good work, and feel free to post again with more questions!

Heather
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Re: Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:12 pm

Hi HeatherL!
Lety95 and I have asked UC Berkeley if we will be able to use their equipment for our project, and we are waiting for a reply. They have a stem cell club that may be able to help us out with equipment that we may need. We are thinking about using IPS technoolgy, which will somehow transform somatic cells of mice into induced pluripotent stem cells, which we can then use to create an egg. I believe you have to insert maybe 4 genes into the somatic skin cells of the mouse to induce them into embryonic stem cells. I still need to read more on the subject, though. We are also still finding the regulations as to if we are able to test on mice, so we will see if we are able to go through with this project.
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:16 am

Hi Chelsey95,

That's great news! While you are waiting to hear back from UC Berkeley, have you tried any of the other surrounding universities? Given the medical focus of UCSF and Stanford, you might be able to find stem cell researchers there. You could also look at the state schools (e.g., San Jose State) to see what kind of research is happening there. That way you are not stuck in a holding pattern, waiting on one university.

Please keep me posted as your project progresses!

Best,
Heather
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Re: Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:45 pm

We have contacted Stanford, UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis. UCSF has replied back, and Stanford is willing to help, they just need to contact a higher colleague. So, I believe we are on the right track. We will keep you posted on any new information received, or any new ideas thought of :)
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:38 am

Excellent! I am excited to hear where this goes. :D
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Re: Life Science

Postby chelsey95 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:10 am

We have found that, unfortunately, this project will cost too much money so we cannot go through with this idea.
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Re: Life Science

Postby heatherL » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:56 am

Hi Chelsey95,

I am sorry to hear that, but I completely understand. We scientists often have to adjust our research plans because of funding.

If you are interested in doing a project that involves growing cells, which is less expensive and can be performed at home, check out this project:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p033.shtml
The cost is listed as $100-$150, but I did find a place marketing Pyrocystis lunula cells starting at $25:
http://empco.org/edu/index.php/biolumin ... unula.html

This project examines different bacteria in your surroundings: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p007.shtml

Remember you can always go back to your interest in color blindness. (I did "Are dogs colorblind?" for my 8th grade science project, which won first place at the county level!) I'd be happy to help you develop something fun for that.

Here are a couple projects related to human color vision:
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p021.shtml
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p008.shtml

Let me know what you and Lety95 want to do, and we'll make something fun happen!

Heather
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