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I need HELP setting up my experiement.

Postby priyanka222 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:35 pm

My topic for the science fair is: Testing electromagnetic fields on bacterial transformation. But, I have no idea how to get started on this. I just have the idea, but I have no clue how to test it. I need help setting up the experiement so I can actually perform the experiment and finish it on time.

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Postby priyanka222 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:42 pm

just to clarify-- i am in 10th grade and i am really hoping to place at this year's regional science fair
I did the science fair in 7th grade and won first place at regionals, and then went to states. However, I haven't participated in the science fair since then. I've heard that the microbiology section is very competitive, so I was also wondering if my project was "worthy" enough. Moreover, I've done some research on how to test transformation, but nothing seems simple enough for me to actually do. If you have any good methods to test my experiement please inform me asap! Thanks :)

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Postby Scronjsn11 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:27 am


First off, you could research this on google or your favorite search engine...your choice. I would also suggest asking your instructors or other instructors at your school for help. You can also try and do a collaboration with a college professor/ instructor, and see if they will help you out.

I looked online. try going to electromagnetic field testing.

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Postby wildfirefox » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:00 am


This field is truly a remarkable field to study in, especially in college, where labs with high power and electron microscopes are used to monitor progresses. On top of that, you also need incubators and lab equipment to perform the experiments. Please, let us know if you can get in contact with any instructor, professor, or facility that has equipment you need. This field of study is very time consuming, but worth the effort in pursuing. This also related to a field that I used to study, which involve magnetic fields of overhead high power line and the developmental stages of children under the magnetic fields influences. I commend your thought in this area of research.
Those who can see that do not exist are geniuses. Those who can see what exists are brilliant. Those cannot see what exists are ignorant.
- Lao Tsu

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Postby adance » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:44 pm

So as I see if you have two things you need to figure out.

1) how to transform the bacteria

2) how to generate the field

I can't help you much with 2, but I can tell you what I know about transformation. Transformation is a pretty standard technique and you can find descriptions online or in your biology textbook. Here are three different methods I have used, what method you use will probably depend on the equipment you have access to. Search for the terms I use to get more info.

for E. coli, you can buy or make what are called chemically competent cells. Then, there's a procedure you follow to actually add the DNA. The most important thing about this protocol is to keep it on ice! You could probably do this at school if your teacher gets the cells for you.

Another method I've used with E coli is called electroporation. Again, you make or buy electrocompetent cells, then there's a little machine you use to zap them (it's kind of a fine line between getting them to transform and just frying them). If you are near a university maybe a microbiology lab would let you use their machine?

By far the easiest transformation I've done is on Bacillus subtilis. You have to grow the cells a certain way, but then you just add the DNA.

Hope this helps!
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Postby tdaly » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:37 pm

Another common way to perform a bacterial transformation is described in the AP Biology labs. I can't remember precisely which lab it is, but if you have AP Biology at your high school, talk to the AP Bio teacher about transformation. The technique used in the AP Lab is fairly simple and quite reliable.
All the best,

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