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Others Like “What Makes Candies So Colorful? Investigate How Gel Electrophoresis Unlocks the Color Code!”

Science Fair 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
Science Fair 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.
Science Fair 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
Science Fair 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.
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
thumbnail DNA is what makes you look like you. It contains your body's instructions for your hair and eye color, ear shape, your height, and much, much more. Do other living things also have DNA or is DNA only found in humans? You can answer that question yourself (and have your first look at your own DNA) by doing this project. Read more
BioChem_p042
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A DNA extraction kit, listed in the Materials tab, is used for this project.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult help is needed to cut a strawberry. The DNA extraction buffer is harmless if you touch it, but do not taste or swallow it.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail What color is grape soda? If you pour it into a clear glass you can easily see it is purple, but that is usually not its natural color. Manufacturers add red and blue dye to the soda. The dyes mix together and you get purple soda. What if you wanted to un-mix the dyes, could you? Yes! In a chemistry laboratory, using a technique called column chromatography, you could separate the two dyes again. But what about at home, can you use low-tech supplies to do the same thing? In this science… Read more
BioChem_p045
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Syringes (without needles) and Space Sand need to be specially ordered. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution and follow all safety warnings when handling and using the 70% isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is highly flammable. Do not swallow, and avoid any contact with eyes.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Do you read the list of ingredients in foods and drinks before you buy them at the grocery store? If you do, you may have noticed that many of the items that are blue in color have the same dye, called FD&C blue 1. In this chemistry science fair project, you will build a simple colorimeter, a device that measures the concentration of colored chemicals in solutions. You will use the colorimeter to measure the concentration of blue dye #1 in sports drinks, and to track the rate at which the… Read more
Chem_p075
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of chemistry. Some familiarity with electronics would be helpful, but is not required.
Material Availability Specialty item: Cuvettes can be purchased online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Working with bleach is hazardous. Protect your skin and eyes.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail We encounter an amazing array of colors every day, from the greens of plants and the many colors of their flowers, to the pinkish blue of a sunset, to the artificial coloring in beverages. How do we perceive all of these colors? When light hits an object, some of that light is absorbed by the object, and the light that is not absorbed is what we see. In this science project, you will build a simple spectrophotometer from a cell phone and use it to investigate how visible light is absorbed by… Read more
Chem_p100
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to special-order some items. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. A cell phone with a functional camera is required. A computer that can run Windows® software is required.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Quick, what is your favorite color of M&Ms® candy? Do you want to know what dyes were used to make that color? Check out this science project to find out how you can do some scientific detective work to find out for yourself. Read more
FoodSci_p006
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A few specialty items are needed; see the Materials tab.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
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