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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Find out the real explanation for why your parents are so weird! Here is a project that lets you explore "the net" to find out why your "DNA blueprint" is so important to health and disease. In this project you will use methods that bioinformatics and biotech scientists perform on a daily basis to decipher the human genome in their efforts to diagnose and treat genetic diseases. Read more
Genom_p008
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites A good knowledge of basic concepts in genetics and good computer database searching skills
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
In order to study individual biochemical compounds like proteins, DNA, or RNA, biochemists need to know how to purify these components from a complex mixture. This is especially important for biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, which sell purified biochemicals as reagents or drugs to consumers. Do an experiment to purify DNA, RNA, or protein from a complex mixture (for purifying DNA, see the Science Buddies project ). The source of the material can be a cell line, bacterial culture,… Read more
BioChem_p026
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability Most items are readily available; any specialty items needed can be ordered from [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ApprovedSuppliers" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="online vendors" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety If bacteria or cell lines are used as the source of material for purification, [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #] may be necessary. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Humans are complex creatures, but do we have the biggest genome? All living things, from humans to worms to bacteria have genomes. In this experiment you will compare the genome sizes of different organisms to find out who has the smallest and the largest genomes. Where will we fit in? Read more
Genom_p006
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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 wondered why a plant that grows well in one environment may not survive in a different environment? For example, plants that grow well in a wet jungle would probably not do so well in a dry desert, lacking enough water. This is because plants have adapted to their specific environment. Some plants have even adapted to tolerate chemicals that would usually be toxic, such as various heavy metals. In this plant biology science project, you will investigate whether different… Read more
PlantBio_p047
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability The Arabidopsis thaliana seeds for this science project need to be specially ordered in advance with the help of a parent or teacher. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Take all proper safety precautions when working with the heavy metals. Wear gloves. You may need additional protection, such as goggles.
Science Fair Project Idea
Remember going to the doctor and getting vaccine shots? It is no fun getting poked with a needle, but fortunately, a vaccine gives you protection against a serious illness for years to come. But what about the flu vaccine? How come there is a new one every year? This science fair project will show you why. Read more
Genom_p003
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Excellent computer skills. Basic understanding of immunology and protein sequences or willingness to learn about these topics.
Material Availability None required
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Skyscrapers are impressive structures. What does it take to design a building so tall? Engineers use strong materials and innovative design to push the limits of gravity. In this experiment you will use LEGO® components, rubber balls, and a 3-ring binder. Read more
CE_p013
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Believe it or not, scientists were recently able to recover tissue from a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex fossil! Not only were they able to purify non-mineralized tissue, but they also succeeded in obtaining partial sequence information for protein molecules in the T. rex tissue. In this genomics science fair project, you will use the T. rex's protein sequence to search sequence databases for the its closest living relatives. Read more
Genom_p018
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Look out! When you walk on the grass, you are squishing millions of micro-invertebrates! Just kidding, these animals are too small to squish. Learn how to catch them by making a Berlese funnel in this fun project that will teach you about soil. Read more
EnvSci_p042
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Native plants are important for both ecological and medicinal reasons. However, most native plants are not very well studied. One way to know more about these plants is to understand which other species of plants they are most closely related to. In this science project you will sequence part of the chloroplast genome from a native plant and use this information to determine its evolutionary relationship to other species of plants. If the plant you chose has not been sequenced before, you can… Read more
Genom_p012
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites High school biology class; familiarity with using the PCR machine and gel electrophoresis equipment, and/or using the equipment with a mentor.
Material Availability You will need specialized pieces of equipment, including a PCR machine (thermocycler) and a gel electrophoresis apparatus. If your school does not have this equipment you might want to seek out a mentor at a junior college, university, or biotechnology company. If you have the resources you can do the DNA sequencing yourself, otherwise you can send the samples to Dr. Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay, see Experimental Procedure for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety This project uses ethidium bromide, which is a carcinogen. Always wear gloves and safety goggles when handling. Dispose of the ethidium bromide according to your school or institute's hazardous waste protocols. If you have concerns, ask your teacher or mentor for advice.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever looked at two girls and thought they looked so similar that they must be sisters? What about a father and his son — have you ever seen a boy who looked just like how his father did when he was younger? We can often tell that two people are related because they appear to have several similar physical traits. This is because children receive half of their DNA — their genetic blueprints — from each parent. What about fingerprints — are they an inherited trait?… Read more
Genom_p009
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of genetic inheritance

Consent forms must be signed for each person participating in this experiment. You should inform people that although fingerprints can be used as forms of identification, you will assign their fingerprints a code and not use their name so that the fingerprints remain anonymous. For children under the age of 18, parents must grant consent. In addition, the fair's Scientific Review Committee (SRC) must approve the experimental design (including consent forms).

Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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