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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 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
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
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
Gluten is the substance in bread which, on a microscopic level, forms a rigid structure that traps the gases from the yeast, allowing the dough to rise. However, too much of the rigid gluten structure can make some doughs, like pie crust and pastry dough, too tough. For this reason, bakers often use different types of flour that naturally contain different amounts of gluten to make various types of dough. Do some background research about what gluten is, how it forms, and its role in baking.… Read more
FoodSci_p020
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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 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 from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Program to make bacteria express green fluorescent protein (GFP), as shown in Figure 1, below (see the Science Buddies project, ). With variations to this kit you can test the conditions for pGLO expression under different conditions. You can also combine with… 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 [# Link Name="BioChem_p035.6" 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 is required in the laboratory facility. Use sterile technique. Read the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.MicroorganismsSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlShortTitle="true" #] before starting any experiments. [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.ScientificReviewCommitteeSRC" Value="HtmlAnchor" HtmlText="SRC approval" #] may be necessary.
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
Brrrr, freezing cold! It's the worst nightmare of any fresh fruit or vegetable! If the produce in your kitchen had legs, they would run in a panic every time the freezer door opens. Why? Well, freezing temperatures are not kind to fresh produce. Freezing kills the plant tissues and alters them on both a chemical and physical level. Chemically, the enzymes in the produce become more concentrated and do not work normally, so that discoloration, off-flavors, vitamin breakdown, and toughness may… Read more
FoodSci_p035
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A specialty item to help view the structure of the vegetables is optional.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove and working around boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Unlocking the three-dimensional structure of a protein is crucial to help scientists understand how it functions in our bodies and how it can cause devastating diseases if it becomes disrupted or interacts in the wrong way. However, figuring out the structure of a protein in three-dimensional space can be very challenging. Proteins are the functional units of our cells, and every protein is made up of a long chain of amino acids. Amino acids come in different shapes and sizes, and they have… Read more
BioMed_p008
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Understanding of what proteins are.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
If you browse through a candy cookbook, you might notice that many of the recipes call for corn syrup in addition to sugar. Both sugar and corn syrup are sweet, so why do you need corn syrup if you already have sugar? In candy making, corn syrup is known as an interfering agent. But what does this mean and how does it work? You can find out for yourself by making two batches of rock candy, one with corn syrup and one without. For example, you could alter the science project by replacing 1… Read more
FoodSci_p017
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety This science fair project requires adult help. The boiling sugar solution is extremely hot.
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