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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 Biofuel Enzyme Kit. 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.
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 pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Program (see the Science Buddies project, Bacterial Transformation Efficiency). With variations to this kit you can test the conditions for pGLO expression under different conditions. You can also combine with other kits to… 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 pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit. 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 Microorganisms Safety Guide before starting any experiments. SRC approval may be necessary.
Project Idea
First came the and now (drum roll please) the . Confused? Not surprising as the Human Proteome Project has not received the kind of press that the Human Genome Project did. Nonetheless it is a major, and potentially important, scientific undertaking. Just as the genome is the complete set of an organism's DNA, the proteome is all the proteins expressed in an organism. Why study the proteome? It is because proteins are the work horses of biological systems, performing all of the biochemical… Read more
BioChem_p020
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Access to a research laboratory with gel electrophoresis equipment is required for this project.
Material Availability This science project requires the purchase of Bio-Rad's Comparative Proteomics Kit I: Protein Profiler Module. 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 in the laboratory facility is required.
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 GMO Investigator Kit from the Bio-Rad… 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 GMO Investigator Kit. 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.
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.
Project Idea
Some proteins are soluble in aqueous solutions and some are not. Insoluble proteins can be a problem because the proteins can form large aggregates in solution which are difficult to purify, crystallize, and use in experiments. Compare the amino acid sequence and 3-D structures of some soluble and insoluble proteins (Berman, 2000). Is the structure polar or non-polar, and how might this affect solubility? How do detergents make an insoluble protein more soluble? Investigate how this… Read more
BioChem_p018
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Basic introduction to chemistry
Material Availability A computer with Internet access is necessary for this project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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 Extracting Onion DNA). The source of the material can be a cell… 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 online vendors.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety If bacteria or cell lines are used as the source of material for purification, SRC approval may be necessary. Adult supervision is recommended.
Project Idea
Are you interested in the technical and ethical aspects of genetic screening, forensic science, and DNA fingerprinting? Scientists use different forms of a gene, called alleles, to differentiate between two fingerprints. One such sequence used in human DNA fingerprinting is the Alu repeat (a 300 base pair repetitive sequence of DNA) on chromosome 16. During evolutionary time, up to 1 million copies of the Alu repeat have become randomly inserted throughout the human genome. Within a specific… Read more
BioChem_p022
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Access to a research laboratory with PCR equipment is required for this project.
Material Availability PV92 PCR Informatics Kit available for purchase online from Bio-Rad. A teacher's help is required as Bio-Rad only sells directly to schools.
Project Idea
The iodine clock reaction is a favorite demonstration reaction in chemistry classes. Two clear liquids are mixed, resulting in another clear liquid. After a few seconds, the solution suddenly turns dark blue. The reaction is called a clock reaction because the amount of time that elapses before the solution turns blue depends on the concentrations of the starting chemicals. In this chemistry science fair project, you will explore factors that affect the rate of the iodine clock reaction. Read more
Chem_p091
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be attending or already have taken an introductory chemistry class. This science fair project requires careful attention to detail and will involve some creative problem solving and independent research on your part.
Material Availability You will need to order a chemical kinetics kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear safety goggles when working with all chemicals. Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to hands and eyes. Wear splash goggles and gloves when handling acids.
Project Idea
How a biological system functions is a consequence of the 3-D structures of biological macromolecules like proteins and protein complexes. Proteins can be categorized into different protein families based upon sequence, structure, and function. Typically, proteins in the same family have similar biochemical functions. You can investigate the structure of a protein by using protein databases (Entrez Protein, SwissProt, PDB) and 3-D computational models. You can compare the structures of… Read more
BioChem_p021
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites Advanced biology course, or willingness to read up on such topics extensively.
Material Availability A computer with Internet access is necessary for this project.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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