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Biotechnology Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Imagine seeing waves glowing a beautiful blue color. The marine dinoflagellate Pyrocystis lunula is responsible for this magnificent phenomenon. Pyrocystis lunula is a bioluminescent organism—bioluminescence is the production of light by living organisms. But does this organism always glow, no matter what the conditions, such as how much light there is? In this biotechnology science fair project, you will investigate how altering this dinoflagellate's exposure to light and dark affects… Read more
BioChem_p033
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: Living Pyrocystis lunula cell cultures are required for this science fair project and can be ordered online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What color is grape soda? If you pour it into a clear glass you can easily see it is purple, but that is usually not its natural color. Manufacturers add red and blue dye to the soda. The dyes mix together and you get purple soda. What if you wanted to un-mix the dyes, could you? Yes! In a chemistry laboratory, using a technique called column chromatography, you could separate the two dyes again. But what about at home, can you use low-tech supplies to do the same thing? In this science… Read more
BioChem_p045
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes (without needles) and Space Sand need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution and follow all safety warnings when handling and using the 70% isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is highly flammable. Do not swallow, and avoid any contact with eyes.
Science Fair Project Idea
Many proteins act as catalysts which speed up or regulate a biochemical reaction. The kinetics of an enzyme can be investigated by measuring the reactants and products of the reaction over time. Research the enzymatic reaction of a protein and investigate its kinetics. Measure the production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by catalase, the digestion of gelatin by papain, or any other enzymatic reaction you have access to. Bio-Rad's provides a great measurement platform for exploring… Read more
BioChem_p019
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Should have basic knowledge of chemistry and chemical reactions.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when choosing a biochemical reaction to study. For more information about chemical safety, consult the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ChemistrySafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] Guide.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail When biologists want to separate different pieces of DNA, RNA, or proteins they use a technique called gel electrophoresis. In this science project you'll build a gel electrophoresis chamber and use it to discover how many components are in different colors of food coloring dye. Read more
BioChem_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had to sort a jumble of objects into piles, based on their type? Maybe laundry, or a big load of dishes, or while organizing the garage or a closet? Scientists have to do something similar when they want to study or isolate just a single type of protein. For example, a botanist might discover an exotic plant that is poisonous when eaten, but that also has great antibiotic properties. To help develop a new antibiotic for human use, he or she would have to separate the different… Read more
BioChem_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with how to use a micropipette is needed.
Material Availability This science fair project requires specialty items, including the Bio-Rad [# Link Name="BioChem_p035.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] and a sample of green fluorescent protein. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. It also requires a number of common molecular biology items, such as pipettes, micropipettes and tips, and a UV light—likely obtainable from your school laboratory.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Follow all safety instructions that come with the Bio-Rad kit(s).
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are biofuels the wave of the future? People often talk about these plant-derived fuels as a way to someday cut down on our dependency on non-renewable carbon-based fuels, like gasoline. Ethanol (a type of alcohol) is a common biofuel used today. In the United States, ethanol is a common biofuel additive to normal gasoline. In fact, some states mandate that when you fill up your gas tank, 10 percent of the total fuel volume be made of ethanol. Brazil, the world's largest user of ethanol-based… Read more
BioChem_p038
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This science project requires access to a biology or chemistry laboratory with, at minimum, pipettes and a balance.
Material Availability This project requires the Bio-Rad [# Link Name="BioChem_p019.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. You will need a teacher's help to order it as Bio-Rad only sells directly to schools.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility.
Science Fair Project Idea
Is it possible to manipulate bacteria to become protein production factories? Can diabetics control blood glucose with insulin produced by bacteria? How cool would it be to take advantage of these microorganism's sophisticated makeup, short doubling times and cheap growth media to mass produce medically and commercially useful proteins? All of these are possible with a few simple genetic manipulations. By the end of this project you would know the basic foundation on which many… Read more
BioChem_p013
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some laboratory experience required: knowledge of sterile technique, working with bacterial cultures, and using automatic pipets all helpful.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Requires adult supervision in a laboratory facility. For ISEF-affiliated fairs, this project will require [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC" #] approval.
Science Fair Project Idea
Though the Sun provides heat and light, which are essential for life on Earth, ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can cause damage to DNA. In this science fair project, you will experiment with a strain of yeast that is super-sensitive to UV light. This project will demonstrate the lethal effects of UV light when DNA damage is not repaired. Read more
BioChem_p036
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a UV-sensitive yeast kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: You might have to have the yeast delivered to a school if the company does not deliver to residential addresses.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Pouring hot agar plates should be done with caution.
Science Fair Project Idea
What is cloning and how is it used in the biotechnology industry? How are plasmids constructed for use in a bacterial expression system? You can investigate bacterial expression with the from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Program (see the Science Buddies project, ). With variations to this kit you can test the conditions for pGLO expression under different conditions. You can also combine with other kits to map the pGLO plasmid and purify the expressed pGLO protein using column… Read more
BioChem_p024
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Some laboratory experience is required: knowledge of sterile technique, working with bacterial cultures, and using automatic pipettes are all helpful.
Material Availability In the Summary tab change the Material Availability field to read: This science project requires the purchase of Bio-Rad's [# Link Name="BioChem_p035.6" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. You will need a teacher's help to order the kit as Bio-Rad only sells directly to schools.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility. Use sterile technique. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] before starting any experiments. [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #] may be necessary.
Science Fair Project Idea
Have your favorite foods been genetically modified? Genetically modified (GM) foods do not require labeling in the USA, and foods with less than 5% content from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be labeled "GMO free." In Europe and Asia, GM foods require labeling only if they contain more than 1% GM content. You can investigate whether your favorite food products, like corn tortilla chips, are made from genetically modified organisms using the from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer… Read more
BioChem_p025
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a research laboratory with PCR equipment is required for this project.
Material Availability Requires purchase of Bio-Rad's [# Link Name="BioChem_p025.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. A teacher's help is needed to order as Bio-Rad sells directly to schools.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility.
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