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Others Like “Trace Your Ancient Ancestry Through DNA”

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Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Woolly mammoths shook the ground of ice-age tundras for millennia, living next to saber tooth tigers and prehistoric man. Although they have been extinct for thousands of years, scientists continue to learn more and more about this mighty animal. Some of the most exciting new research is being produced by looking at DNA extracted from the hair and bones of woolly mammoths entombed in ice. In this genomics science fair project, you will use bioinformatics tools to determine the woolly mammoth's… Read more
Genom_p016
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with basic biological concepts, including DNA, proteins, and mutations.
Material Availability Must have access to the Internet.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail The first land animals took their tentative steps out of the ocean and onto solid ground around 365 million years ago. Over millions of years, these early ancestors developed into tetrapods, including amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, birds, and mammals. Then, around 50 million years ago, the reverse process occurred: the mammalian ancestor of today's whales returned to the ocean. In this genomics science fair project, you will use mitochondrial protein sequencing to trace the evolution of… Read more
Genom_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You should be familiar with high school level genetics (DNA, protein, mutations).
Material Availability Readily available.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Find out the real explanation for why your parents are so weird! Here is a science project that lets you explore the internet to find out why your "DNA blueprint" is so important to health and disease. In this science project you will use methods that bioinformatics and biotech scientists perform on a daily basis to decipher the human genome in their efforts to diagnose and treat genetic diseases. Read more
Genom_p008
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites A good knowledge of basic concepts in genetics and good computer database searching skills
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably seen figures showing how human beings are related to chimpanzees, gorillas, and other primates. In this genomics science fair project, you will use bioinformatics tools to generate your own primate family tree. Read more
Genom_p019
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites High school genetics
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
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
thumbnail 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 [# Link Name="BioChem_p022.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" #] available for purchase online from Bio-Rad. A teacher's help is required as Bio-Rad only sells directly to schools.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail In this biology science fair project, you will observe how the Physarum polycephalum (P. polycephalum) organism responds to various amounts of glucose. P. polycephalum is easy to grow in a petri dish and responds in complex ways to its environment. Will it grow toward the chemical as it looks for a meal, or will it flee, trying to avoid further contact? Try this science fair project to learn more about chemotaxis in the fascinating Physarum polycephalum. Read more
MicroBio_p028
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites An introductory course in chemistry would be useful.
Material Availability You will need to order the "Chemotaxis in Physarum" kit online; see the Materials and Equipment list for details. This item may have to be ordered by your teacher.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Be careful working with sharp blades. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever tried to pack a suitcase? If so, you know that no matter how hard you try, there is a limit to the amount you can cram in, which means if you have more stuff, you need a bigger suitcase! Do you think the same principle applies to DNA in a cell? Does an animal with a bigger genome need a larger cell nucleus to store its DNA? Try this science project and find out! Read more
Genom_p013
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science fair project requires the use of a computer with Internet access.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Why do birds migrate? Do all birds have the same reasons for migrating? Where do they go when they migrate? These are questions scientists have asked for centuries. The more species for which they gather data, the more specific the answers become. In this science project, you'll choose a species to investigate, then access and evaluate real data collected by scientists to start answering those questions yourself! Read more
Zoo_p062
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None.
Material Availability This science project requires a computer onto which you can download and save data sets, and install Google Earth, a free mapping program. You'll also need a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft® Excel®. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
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