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Others Like “Zapping Yeast with X-rays”

Project Idea
thumbnail You have probably had X-rays taken at the dentist's or doctor's office, but do you know how the X-ray images are made? Images made using X-rays, also called radiographs, are considered to be relatively safe to take, even though they are made using a small amount of radiation, specifically electromagnetic radiation. Radiation is energy that travels through space as either waves or high speed particles. Watch this video to learn more about electromagnetic radiation. Watch… Read more
HumBio_p034
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of radiation and making pictures using film.
Material Availability See How to Build an X-ray Machine for a detailed list of materials that will need to be ordered.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety See Introduction to Radiation and Radiation Safety for safety information.
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
Project Idea
thumbnail When you have your X-rays taken at the dentist's or doctor's office, do you ever wonder how the X-ray machine works? Or better yet, how you could make one yourself to use for experiments? This how-to guide provides detailed instructions for high school students and adult do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts to construct and use a homemade X-ray machine safely. Read more
Phys_p083
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites A basic understanding of radiation and radiation safety is necessary before starting this science project.
Material Availability Many of the items for this science project, including the x-ray tube, need to be specially ordered. See the Materials & Equipment section for more details.
Cost Very High (over $150)
Safety A good understanding of radiation safety, proper radiation shielding materials, and supervision by an adult are required for this science project. The X-ray machine must be operated in a properly shielded place away from passersby. The X-ray machine requires a high voltage power supply; the output from the voltage supply can be deadly if mishandled.
Project Idea
Though the Sun provides heat and light, which are essential for life on Earth, ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can cause damage to DNA. In this science fair project, you will experiment with a strain of yeast that is super-sensitive to UV light. This project will demonstrate the lethal effects of UV light when DNA damage is not repaired. Read more
BioChem_p036
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Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a UV-sensitive yeast kit online. See the Materials and Equipment list for details. Note: You might have to have the yeast delivered to a school if the company does not deliver to residential addresses.
Cost High ($100 - $150)
Safety Pouring hot agar plates should be done with caution.
Project Idea
thumbnail Ultraviolet light can damage DNA molecules. If a cell's DNA repair mechanisms can't keep up with the damage, mutations are the result. As harmful mutations accumulate, the cell eventually dies. How much ultraviolet light is too much for a bacterial cell? Read more
MicroBio_p017
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites To do this project, you will need access to a laboratory with facilities for culturing bacteria. You should be familiar with sterile technique and proper handling of bacterial cultures.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required. Read and follow the safety note below on ultraviolet light. Follow standard precautions for handling bacterial cultures.
Project Idea
thumbnail Do you realize that you are constantly bombarded by particles? You do not feel them, you cannot see, hear, or smell them, but they are always there! These particles — collectively called background radiation — might even travel through you without ever interacting with the molecules in your body. In this science project, you will build your own cloud chamber to prove the existence of background radiation. You will then use your cloud chamber to determine if the background… Read more
Phys_p087
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites This project requires patience and the ability to sit still and make small scale observations for 20 minutes.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not use isopropyl alcohol near an open flame or anything hot.

Dry ice is cold and can damage your skin. Wear protective gloves when handling it.
Project Idea
thumbnail Have you ever seen amazing, colored images of objects in space, like stars or even entire galaxies? Some of these images were originally taken with forms of radiation that the human eye cannot actually see, like x-rays. In order to create the beautiful pictures you see in the news or online, scientists have to use an image-editing program to add color to them. In this astronomy science project, you will use raw x-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory telescope to create amazing… Read more
Astro_p040
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability This science project requires a computer with internet access.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Project Idea
thumbnail Every day, no matter where you are, you will see people using their cell phones. People use their cell phones for more than just making calls though. They use them for texting and searching the Internet, too. But some health groups are concerned that using your cell phone too much can be hazardous to your health. In this electricity and electronics science project, you will investigate whether your cell phone emits dangerous levels of microwave radiation when used for calling and texting. Read more
Elec_p068
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites You must have access to a cell phone.
Material Availability In order to test for microwave radiation, you will have to purchase a microwave leakage meter. See the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Wear proper safety gear when building the jig. See the Experimental Procedure for details.
Project Idea
thumbnail It's true that the light from the Sun provides the heat and light we need to survive here on Earth, but it also poses a threat. Ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight cause damage that can lead to early skin aging and even skin cancer. In this science fair project, find out when you need the most protection from UV rays by using a personal UV monitor to measure how the level of ultraviolet light changes during different parts of the day. Read more
HumBio_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability You will need to order a personal UV monitor online. Please see the Materials and Equipment list for details.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Do not look at the Sun when you are measuring the UV level. Wear sunscreen when you are in the sunlight.
Project Idea
thumbnail Are you fascinated by radioactivity and the emission of particles caused by the disintegration of an atom? This science project enables you to observe safely a spectacular display of radioactive decay. Following the instructions in the Procedure, you will be able to isolate a safe radioactive source and build a cloud chamber to watch the radioactive decay. Then you will use your cloud chamber to discover if a plastic lid can shield you from this type of radioactive decay particles. Read more
Phys_p086
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of, or willingness to study independently, the atomic model and what radiation is.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety

You will be working with radioactive material in this science project; it is completely safe as long as the simple safety instructions in the Procedure are followed.

This project uses isopropyl alcohol, a flammable product. Do not use it near an open flame or anything hot.

Dry ice is colder than regular ice and can damage your skin. Wear insulating gloves when handling it.

If you choose to take apart a smoke detector, be very careful when cutting through metal or plastic. Cut edges might be sharp. Adult help and supervision is required. Minor injury is possible.

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