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Science Fair 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
Science Fair Project Idea
Did you ever wonder about your ancient ancestors? Who they were? Where they came from? In this science project, you will investigate the secrets of your distant past as revealed by your DNA. In order to obtain a sample for DNA analysis, you will scrape a soft swab inside your mouth to collect cheek cells. The cheek cell sample will be sent to a lab for processing, and the results of the analysis will be sent to you. Based on the genetic markers in your DNA, the ancient clan that your… Read more
Genom_p014
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with the concepts of basic human genetics.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost High ($100 - $150)
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
thumbnail Many people you know probably have an opinion about the kind of milk they like to drink—some like it thin and refreshing, others like it thick and rich. Milk can be bought with different fat concentrations, but other than that, it's all the same. Or is it? This science fair project raises a few interesting questions about the other contents in milk. Do all milk products have the same protein concentrations? Do cows produce different types of milk during different stages of lactation?… Read more
BioChem_p034
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Prior to starting this science fair project, you should either know how to use a spectrophotometer, or have access to someone who can show you how to use it.
Material Availability This science fair project requires access to laboratory equipment and supplies, including a spectrophotometer; see the Materials and Equipment section for more details. Access to a dairy is also needed for the main project, but the Variations section, below, lists options that are not dependent on dairy access.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using laboratory equipment.
Science Fair Project Idea
DNA is the "instruction manual" for the successful growth of a living thing, from a single cell to a mature adult. When the DNA of an organism is somehow damaged, it can have an impact on the organism's development over time. In this plant science fair project, you will track how irradiation (exposure to radiation) of radish seeds affects germination (sprouting of a seedling from a seed). Read more
PlantBio_p039
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need a specialty item, Irradiated "Rapid Radish" seeds, for this science fair project. See the Materials and Equipment list for more details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail French fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes with gravy, potato latkes, there are so many things to make with the humble potato. The potato is a tuber from the perennial plant Solanum Tuberosum of the Solanaceae family. There are actually about 5,000 varieties of potatoes, but most of them can be traced back to the original potato from southern Peru. This single ancestor originated more than 10,000 years ago. In addition to being high in vitamins and minerals, potatoes have a varying amount of… Read more
FoodSci_p032
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Minor injury possible. Be careful using a knife. Adult supervision is required when using a knife.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Farmers are constantly battling various types of weeds that compete with the crops they are trying to grow. One of the tools they use to combat unwanted plants is a chemical called glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, a widely used weed killer. In this plant biology science fair project, you will explore the factors that affect the activity of glyphosate. Read more
PlantBio_p038
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Time Required Very Long (1+ months)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear disposable gloves when handling the weed killer and work in a well-ventilated area. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Ever used a pair of molecular scissors? Restriction enzymes are molecular scissors that cut DNA into pieces. Find out which enzymes will cut, and where by making a restriction map. Then you can figure out what will happen if you change the sequence of the DNA. Will the same enzymes still cut the new DNA sequence? Read more
BioChem_p014
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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
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
In the United States, lighting for homes accounts for about 14% of all residential electricity usage (EIA, 2014). That's billions of dollars worth of electricity per year. The U.S. has passed legislation to phase out older, more inefficient incandescent light bulbs, and they are being replaced with newer, more-efficient bulb types like compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). How much energy (measured in kilowatt-hours [kWh]) and how much money could be saved by… Read more
Energy_p005
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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