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I have a project-but how do I test it?

Postby hannahthesciencekid » Sun Sep 18, 2016 6:45 am

I want to test whether high corn fructose causes cancer. However, I have no idea how you even BEGIN to test this, and google has yielded nothing.

I realize this might be a question you'd ask a mentor, but I don't have access to any professors or anything in my area (all I have is my high school biology teacher).

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Re: I have a project-but how do I test it?

Postby jcschrandt » Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:35 pm

Hi hannahthesciencekid! That's a very interesting topic! Do you have access to a lab to run experiments? If so, one of the first things you want to determine is what sort of model you could use to test this? Do you want to use bacteria, yeast, fruit flies, planaria, etc? One of the most common ways to test whether something could increase the risk for cancer would be to test for genetic mutations. This can be done by sequencing a genome, which is very expensive, or by testing for specific mutations. For example, if you're using bacteria, you could test whether exposure to high fructose corn syrup reduces the amount of time it takes for the bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance, which means that the bacteria have developed enough mutations to grow where they couldn't before. If you do something like this, you would probably want to test a low concentration and a high concentration of high fructose corn syrup and grow the bacteria in a dish with a gradient of antibiotic. Over time, the bacteria would start to grow in the low concentration antibiotic and then the high concentration antibiotic.

I hope this helps!

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