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Others Like “Purification Strategies”

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Science Fair 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
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail 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 [# Link Name="BioChem_p020.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" #]. 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.
Science Fair Project Idea
Some sequences of RNA can catalyze biochemical reactions, much like protein enzymes. These catalytic RNA sequences are called ribozymes. The function of a ribozyme depends upon the primary sequence of the RNA which folds into a 3-D structure. How do different ribozyme sequences fold? You can search for ribozyme sequences using Entrez BLAST (NCBI, 2006). Then you can use a program like MFOLD () to submit your sequence for an analysis of its predicted 3-D structures based upon thermodynamics… Read more
BioChem_p023
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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
Science Fair Project Idea
Antioxidants have become very popular in the news lately for their potential health and anti-aging properties. Antioxidants work by preventing oxidation reactions that produce free-radicals which can cause harm to the body. Try testing different vitamins for antioxidant activity. How do vitamins A, B, C, and E compare? Do some vitamins have more antioxidant activity than others? What are some other sources of antioxidants? Try testing extracts from proposed sources of antioxidants like coffee,… Read more
HumBio_p001
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution when using sharp knives and do not eat any of your experiments.
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
Some laundry detergents have added enzymes that break down proteins, helping to remove them from the cloth fibers, and thus remove stains. You can perform a scientific test of these enzymes' stain-fighting ability. Do background research on the enzyme(s) in the detergent, and on the substances you choose for making the stains. Try to predict for which substances the enzymes will be effective. Cut a piece of light-colored cotton cloth into identical 10 cm squares. Choose different… Read more
Chem_p039
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Science Fair Project Idea
Yeast contains an enzyme, called catalase, that acts as a catalyst for the reaction that breaks down hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water (2H2O22H2O + O2). Safety note: oxygen is a highly reactive gas, adult supervision recommended for this project. For your background research, be sure that you understand substrate, catalyst, reaction rate, catalase, enzyme saturation and protein denaturation. Use a solution of 3% H2O2 for the substrate. Construct an apparatus that allows you to collect… Read more
Chem_p040
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended for this project.
Science Fair Project Idea
Whipped egg whites are used in many sweet and savory recipes. They are used to add air into cake batters, meringues, and soufflés. Egg whites, also known as albumin are 15 percent protein dissolved into water. When egg whites are beaten or whipped, the protein chains unravel. This is called denaturation. The process of whipping egg whites adds air to the mixture, in addition to denaturing the proteins. The denatured proteins create bonds with each other and trap air bubbles within… Read more
FoodSci_p036
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
Fresh whipped cream is the final touch for many delectable desserts. One issue with fresh whipped cream is that it has to be used soon after it is made, especially if it is at room temperature, or it starts to collapse into goo. This is a problem for its use in frostings or inside pastries as filler. Whipped cream can be stabilized by adding unflavored gelatin. Stabilized whipped cream can be used at room temperature and it has a much longer life. But how much gelatin is just right? Try… Read more
FoodSci_p022
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required. Whipped cream that has been at room temperature for too long might spoil, so be cautious about eating it if too much time has passed.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever had to sort a jumble of objects into piles, based on their type? Maybe laundry, or a big load of dishes, or while organizing the garage or a closet? Scientists have to do something similar when they want to study or isolate just a single type of protein. For example, a botanist might discover an exotic plant that is poisonous when eaten, but that also has great antibiotic properties. To help develop a new antibiotic for human use, he or she would have to separate the different… Read more
BioChem_p035
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Familiarity with how to use a micropipette is needed.
Material Availability This science fair project requires specialty items, including the Bio-Rad [# Link Name="BioChem_p035.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] and a sample of green fluorescent protein. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. It also requires a number of common molecular biology items, such as pipettes, micropipettes and tips, and a UV light—likely obtainable from your school laboratory.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended. Follow all safety instructions that come with the Bio-Rad kit(s).
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