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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
thumbnail Do you know why enzymes are oftentimes called the workhorses of biochemistry? It's because they can speed up a wide variety of chemical reactions, and chemists and biologists use enzymes to do all kinds of jobs. In this project, pectinase, an enzyme frequently used in the food industry, will be used to extract juice from apples. Read more
BioChem_p010
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty Items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Use care when using sharp knife to chop apples. Do not drink the juice produced in this experiment.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Most people are not aware that the soil around them is a battle scene. The combatants are very small—bacteria on one side and bacteriophage on the other. The bacteriophage (or phage for short) try to pierce the outer coats of the bacteria and inject them with phage DNA. If successful, the DNA will take over the inner machinery of the bacterial cells and force them to make many copies of the phage. After the copies are made, the bacterial cells break apart, releasing new phage that start… Read more
MicroBio_p029
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites This is an advanced science project that requires access to a laboratory with a water bath and 37°C incubator. The kit you will use has enough supplies to perform the procedure one time. To repeat the procedure, you should order additional supplies (listed in the Materials and Equipment section), or make your own media and agar plates. Working with a science teacher or other mentor who is familiar with growing bacteria and titering phage would be helpful.
Material Availability You will need to order the bacteria, the phage, and the supplies from an online science supply store. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety The bacteria (E. coli B) and the phage (T4r) are not dangerous, but you should follow common-sense safety guidelines and wear gloves and safety goggles when working in the lab. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Enzymes speed up chemical reactions by factors of at least a million. Now that's acceleration! This project investigates how temperature affects how fast these enzymatic reactions occur. Read more
BioChem_p011
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Must have access to a stove, refrigerator, and a freezer.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Use caution when handling the hydrogen peroxide, boiling water, stove, and blender. Adult supervision may be required for using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
All living things have DNA inside their cells. How do scientists extract the DNA from cells in order to study it? In this experiment you can make your own DNA extraction kit from household chemicals and use it to extract DNA from strawberries. Read more
BioChem_p015
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever made your own ice cream? If you have, you probably surrounded the ice cream container with ice and rock salt to get the mixture cold enough to freeze. But why does that work? How does adding salt (or other substances) affect the freezing point of water? Find out with this ice-cold science project. Read more
FoodSci_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Understanding the concepts of molecular weight and moles. Access to a gram balance accurate to 0.1 gram.
Material Availability Specialty items are needed. See the Materials tab for details
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This is a project that illustrates the process of natural selection in action. You'll need access to a laboratory for working with the bacterial cultures used in this project. Read more
MicroBio_p013
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
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
thumbnail How does your family thaw and cook meat? Have you ever wondered if it is the safest way? In this practical science project, you can find out and shed light on safe practices in the kitchen by investigating how many viable bacteria are present in samples of meat that have been thawed or cooked using different methods. Read more
MicroBio_p015
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures and bleach.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever wondered if a piece of jewelry is real gold or if it's just some ordinary metal alloy? It turns out that some metals have a unique property; even in small amounts, they can be toxic to some organisms, including algae, molds, fungi, and bacteria, although it often takes many hours to see an effect. Can this phenomena, called the oligodynamic effect be used to tell whether or not the gold or silver in a piece of jewelry is real? Do bacteria react differently to pure, plated, and… Read more
MicroBio_p026
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires access to some laboratory equipment, such as a 37°C incubator, a Bunsen burner, as well as some specialty reagents, which can be ordered online. It also requires several pieces of jewelry, including at least one 14-karat gold piece. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety This science fair project involves the use of the bacterium E. coli. Standard microbiology and bacterial safety guidelines should be followed. See the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] for more details. Projects using bacteria may require pre-approval from your science fair's [# Link Name="MicroBio_p026.1" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. To maintain a sterile environment, you will be working near a lighted Bunsen burner. Keep all flammables, including hair and clothing, away from the flame.
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