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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
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
thumbnail Do you like reading detective stories or watching crime shows on TV? This advanced project idea in the area of forensic science might be right for you. Read more
BioChem_p009
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites High School Biology
Material Availability This project requires you to order specialty items and have access to some laboratory equipment, see the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety No issues
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.
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
Farmers face a variety of challenges in their efforts to grow crops. One of the chief challenges is the presence of unwanted plants (weeds) that compete with the crop plants for water, nutrients, and light. If the weeds are not suppressed, they can reduce or completely eliminate the amount of food derived from the crop at harvest. In this biotechnology and plant science fair project, you will simulate the competition between crop plants and weeds, and determine whether the use of an herbicide,… Read more
Genom_p020
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Specialty items: Genetically modified seeds can be purchased online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear disposable gloves when handling the weed killer and work in a well-ventilated area. Adult supervision is recommended.
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.
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
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
Project Idea
thumbnail How do scientists "copy" DNA? They use a process called the Polymerase Chain Reaction, or PCR. The key to making this process work is having a short piece of DNA, called a primer, that will stick to the larger piece of DNA you want to copy, called a template. In this science project, you will test how the number of matches and mismatches in a primer will affect its ability to stick, or anneal, to the DNA template during PCR. Read more
BioChem_p017
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A large number of magnets are needed.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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