Hannah Meeks
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:08 am

cell to cell communication

Postby Hannah Meeks » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:08 pm

Hi,
I am in 9th grade and was wondering :? if you know of any experiments that i could do for my project which is on cell communication and the importance of these 8 sugars: Glucose, Galactose, Fucose, Mannose, Xylose, N-acetyl-neuraminic acid, N-acetyl-glucosamine, and N-acetyl-galactosamine, in the process of communication. i have to start my experiments in about 2 weeks. Right now i am trying to find a lab that i might be able to use, but have not had any luck. Please let me know what you think and if there is any experiments that i could do. Thank you for your time. God bless! Hannah [/list]
Hi,
i am almost 15 and i am doing a science fair project on cell to cell communication. i enjoy learning new things about how our bodies work, but mostly about the communication of cells through useing sugars.
thanks for reading, God bless!!!

MelissaB
Moderator
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:47 am

Postby MelissaB » Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:15 am

Hannah,

What is it about cell to cell communication that you're interested in studying? Rates? Mechanisms? I think thinking about that may help you focus your ideas somewhat, because then you'll know what question you're trying to answer.

If you were interested in the rate of cell to cell communication, for example, and had a way to measure it you could add various concentrations of those sugars to the medium the cells are growing in and then determine how the rate of communication is affected.

Hannah Meeks
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:08 am

Postby Hannah Meeks » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:54 am

Hey,

Thanks for replying so quickly. after reading your reply i thought about what the question is that i am trying to answer. i believe that what i realy want to know is the rate that the communication happens and the differance between cells that have the 8 sugars and ones that don't. if this is my question then what are some ways that i could do my experiment? how do you test the rates of cell communication? what kind of equepment do i need?

Thanks so much for you help!!! In Him,
Hannah
Hi,

i am almost 15 and i am doing a science fair project on cell to cell communication. i enjoy learning new things about how our bodies work, but mostly about the communication of cells through useing sugars.

thanks for reading, God bless!!!

MelissaB
Moderator
Posts: 1055
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:47 am

Postby MelissaB » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:41 am

Hannah,

Sorry for the delay in replying, but I'm not a microbiologist so I don't know the answer to your questions. I believe you would need to work in a laboratory that already studies intercellular communication to do your project because they would be set up to measure things like rates of communication between cells. If there is anything you could do at home without specialized equipment, they'd also be able to tell you what it is.

I suggest doing a couple of things: first, calling microbiology departments in universities/colleges near your home and explaining that you're doing a science fair project. Ask if anyone in the department studies intercellular communication and if they would be willing to talk with you. Depending on the university, the department may have a different name but you should be able to ask for microbiologists and they should know what you're talking about.

Second, take a look at websites such as this one: http://www.biosignaling.com/, which is about a journal dedicated to the study of intercellular communication. The journal should have information about the authors published in the journal. You can then e-mail the authors to see if they have any recommendations for you--they may, for example, know of other researchers in your area. Just be forewarned that many scientists are so busy that they don't reply to their e-mail right away or at all sometimes, so if you do decide to go this route I would e-mail a bunch of them.

Hope this helps!

carolinethorn
Former Expert
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:40 pm

Postby carolinethorn » Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:24 pm

Hi Hannah,

This one really had me stumped as to whether I could think of anything you could do at home. The only thing I could come up with was how cells use sugars to identify themselves and the example of blood group antigens and identiying a cell as "self" or "non-self" to other cells of the immune system.
Some of the sugars you mentioned are used as part of the A,B O blood group antigens.
There are kits for testing your ABO blood group at home - you would need to take safety precautions for working with blood even if it is your own (don't work with other peoples blood) and check about which forms to fill with the science fair but i think they would allow it.

If you would rather work with yeast or bacteria there might be experiments you could do about cells sensing sugars in their environment but I can't think of a way to measure cell-cell communication at home.

best of luck,
Caroline


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