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Project Ideas in the Biological Sciences
ball5.gif (1701 bytes) Biochemistry
ball5.gif (1701 bytes) Botany
ball5.gif (1701 bytes) Medicine and Health
ball5.gif (1701 bytes) Microbiology
ball5.gif (1701 bytes) Zoology
Biological Sciences

Biochemistry

What is ethylene gas and what is its importance in the fresh fruit and vegetable industries?

What is irradiation and how is it used in the fresh fruit and vegetable industries?

How can plant diseases be genetically controlled?


Botany

What kinds of obstacles will roots grow through or around?

What kinds of additives are best for cut flowers in vases?

How do florists make blue and other colored carnations?

What are the benefits of fruits having furry skins?

How do plant hormones affect plant growth?

How are seeds and seedlings affected by gravity? (Geotropism)

Why are plant hybrids useful in agriculture?

How do seed companies produce their "perfect" seeds?

How can a seedless watermelon be grown from a seed?

How does a seedless naval orange reproduce?

What are some plants that have thigmotropism? (Touch sensitivity)

Why is algae added to some foods?

What types of algae are used?

How do people determine how deep to plant seeds?

What are some different ways that plants are pollinated?

Will a seed of a hybrid plant produce fruit like its parents?

How and why do plants grow toward light?

How do you determine the age of a tree?

Can past significant geological events be determined by examining the annual rings of a tree?

How is seed shape associated with seed dispersal?

How does the color or material of a container affect root growth?

What affects do different colors of light have on plant growth?

How do plants climb?

How do monocots differ from dicots?

How and why do some plants mimic other organisms?

Do all legumes have similar seed anatomy?

Do different colors of flowers attract different kinds of pollinators?

Is there a connection between leaf shape, margin, and veination and the type of food produced?

How powerful is a seed as it germinates?

What is the purpose of the root nodules on some plants such as peanuts, beans, and soybeans?

How are all parts of a particular plant used in agriculture?

How does thinning fruit or pruning fruit trees affect the size and quality of fruit grown?

What is grafting and why is it used on many trees and vines?
Examples: Grapes, citrus etc.


Medicine and Health

How are new foods developed by major food companies?

Why are certain trace minerals needed for the health of certain animals or plants?

What are the effects of different vitamin deficiencies on certain animals or plants?

What are the effects of different vitamin toxicities (overdoses) on animals or plants?

Analyze your school lunch or a meal at a fast food restaurant for protein, facts, minerals, etc.

How influenced are humans by the appearance of food rather than its taste or nutritional value?

How is the nutritional value of foods determined?

How is the number of calories in a certain food product determined?

What are the best ways to store fresh fruits, vegetables or grain products?

Are fresh, home-cooked foods more nutritious than processed or fast foods?

Trace the path of a meal back to its primary source of energy.

How does freezing food affect its texture and/or taste?

Why and how is meat aged by large meat companies or butchers?

Do freeze-dried foods have the same nutritional value as fresh foods?

How do sulfur and/or ascorbic acid assist in preserving food?

How are raisins produced? Do raisins have different nutritional values than fresh grapes?


Microbiology

How are some molds and bacteria used to enhance the flavor of certain foods?
Example: Cheese


Zoology

What is co-generation? How can this be used on dairy and cattle ranches?

How are the diets for cattle, sheep, goats or zoo animals determined?

Where do certain cuts of meat come from on a specific animal?

What would be the affect of removing a certain animal from a food chain?
Example: Extinction or physical removal.

How does the amount of water affect the types of wildlife found in a certain area?

How many insects will a common insect predator, such as a toad or praying mantis, eat in one day?

How do nematodes cause plant disease?

What do farmers do to reduce the amount of damage caused by nematodes?

Describe the life cycle of an insect pest. What state in the insect's life is it most damaging to farmers?

How are insects being used to reduce the number of damaging pests in a field?
Example: Lady bugs and lacewings are used to eat aphids.

How is genetics assisting in the improving quality of beef, poultry, lamb and pork?

How can agricultural pests be reduced without using pesticides?

Why are hormones used in meat production? Do these hormones have an affect on the consumer of the meat?

What special plants are deadly to a particular animal?

How are embryo transplants done? Why?

Why are certain shellfish only harvested during certain times of the year? When are these special times?

What products do dairy cattle provide?

How can animal pests be genetically controlled?

Why are there fisheries throughout the United States?

Why are fisheries often associated with dams?

What types of food are sometimes raised on farms. How and why is this done?

How can hormones assist with wool production and shearing?

Abalone and oysters are sometimes raised on farms. How and why is this done?

What effects do certain chemicals such as phosphates have on marine animals?

What are the optimum conditions for hatching poultry or fish eggs?

What are some problems and solutions in raising poultry?

What organisms are major causes of deadly diseases in herds or flocks of animals?

What is hoof rot? What can be done to prevent it?

Why employ veterinarians at every meat packing and processing plant?

Examine the internal organs of an animal that has been slaughtered for food consumption (Contact a 4-H office to determine how specimens can be obtained and/or preserved).

What useful products, besides food, are made from pigs, sheep, cattle and poultry?



Project Ideas


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