JustinHyun290
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:13 pm
Occupation: Student

Science Fair Project Idea Eczema

Postby JustinHyun290 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:40 pm

Since my brother and I went through severe eczema throughout our childhood, I decided to start my science fair project research from there. However, I realized that creating a science fair project out of an inflammatory skin disease with an unknown cause is extremely hard. One thing that I found through researching publications is that there is an increase in S. aureus on the skin of people with severe eczema. Throughout my entire life, I've grown up using multiple types of medicine, including elidel topical, specific chinese herbs, steroids for eczema, etc. Therefore, I decided I want to see if there is a definitive correlation between the use of these types of medicine and the reduction of S. aureus. I hope to find out and compare the effectiveness of these medicines with the template being the relative amount of S. aureus on the skin.
At the end of my research, I was stuck with a couple of questions including.
1. How would I start my experiment (Can I even do this experiment)?
2. Would I even be able to receive significant results considering I'm doing a project on a condition that hasn't been solved?
3. Where can I learn how to carry out my project (grow human cells, expose these cells to the type of medicine, etc.)?
Thank you for reading my project description!
Sincerely, Justin

DrSullivan
Expert
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 11:46 am
Occupation: Other Adult

Re: Science Fair Project Idea Eczema

Postby DrSullivan » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:54 am

Justin,

That is a very interesting project.

1.The first thing I would do is simplify it and take the human skin cells out of the equation. You could just see if S. aureus will grow fewer colonies with those reagents in the agar.
2. Most science is done in steps. While you might not be solving the entire question of what causes the condition, you can answer the question of whether these treatments help because of their effects on S. aureus, or if they help for some other reason.
3. Consider adapting this experiment on antibiotic resistance, but use the medicines instead of antibiotics.
https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science- ... ce#summary

Hope this helped!

JustinHyun290
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:13 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Science Fair Project Idea Eczema

Postby JustinHyun290 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:31 pm

Thank you for the response!
However, I am a bit confused about connecting my project idea with antibiotic resistance. Could you possibly give me a link to a step by step process on testing antibiotic resistance? Unfortunately, I am not used to this type of subject. Thank you so much!

Sincerely,
Justin

embergman
Expert
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:11 am
Occupation: Other Adult

Re: Science Fair Project Idea Eczema

Postby embergman » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:06 am

Hi Justin,

In antibiotic resistance experiments, bacteria are cultured in the presence of antibiotics--if the bacteria live, they are resistant to the antibiotic present and if they don't, then they are not. Your project functions under a similar principle--if your treatments kill S. aureus, you should not see bacterial growth when culturing with the treatment.

When culturing with antibiotic, agar is autoclaved and then antibiotic is added to the mixture, which is filtered, and plates are subsequently poured and allowed to cool. These steps, autoclaving and filtration, help to reduce confounds introduced by the presence of contaminants, such as other bacterial cultures.

You, too, will require agar plates, but you may or may not have access to an autoclave. If you don't, try to purchase sterile agar. If you do the culture in a culture hood, as you should, and you use proper technique, you should prevent the introduction of contaminants. Further, as your treatments sound like they may not incorporate into the agar, you can pour the agar and add them on top of the cultures later--although you would ideally add them before to prevent growth. Adding them after may be slightly more physiologically relevant, however, as some bacterial cultures are present on the skin prior to the introduction of the treatment, and perhaps it would be best to see if you can observe a reduction in cultures.

Once you have your agar plates, you will culture your bacterial strain by criss-crossing the culture over the plate--this will help you to spread out the bacteria, allowing you to view colonies individually. You should purchase S. aureus culture instead of using a more readily available source--such as a swab from your skin or mouth--as this will improve the likelihood that you are observing S. aureus growth and not other bacterial strains. As output, you can then count the number of colonies before and after introduction of treatment.

I hope that helps, but I will caveat this and say I am not a microbiologist, so others may have better advice. Good luck!

Best,

Elizabeth


Return to “Grades 9-12: Life, Earth, and Social Sciences”