Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Green Human Project

The Green Human Project is to create a human that could live off of sunlight and photosynthesis. Our idea was to put implants in a human to work along with their normal energy creation.
View our presentation.

Monday, December 13, 2010

PKU Blog

1. What enzyme is most commonly defective in people with phenylketonuria?
The important metabolic enzyme, PAH, is missing from patients with PKU.

2. What reaction does this enzyme catalyze? (What is the substrate and what product is produced?)
Phenylalanine is produced at dangerous levels when this enzyme is catalyzed. It can cause mental retardation and epilepsy.

3. Describe the symptoms of phenylketonuria.
The symptoms of PKU are a smaller than usual head, mental retardation and epilepsy, a musty odor on the skin, and lighter than normal hair and skin.

4. What causes the symptoms of PKU, the lack of a substance or the buildup of one?
Phenylalanine is found in proteins of the food that we eat, and reacts badly with the PKU because the hindered enzyme is one of a metabolic nature.

5. How common is phenylketonuria? How is it treated?
PKU is not very common. Rates in Asian and Caucasians are rare but come up more in Irish and Turkish heritage families. It is treatable and is treated by a low protein diet that is carried out throughout the patient’s lifetime. 

Enzyme Lab




The first lab, we used Yeast and Peroxide. We found that the more yeast we used in the experiment, the larger the reaction. This is because the more enzymes (yeast) the more there were to change, so it created a larger reaction.

In the second lab we worked on, we used temperature differences. The warm mixture worked the best because it wasn't too hot, which hinders the expansion of enzymes, like a fever, and goes slower.

The last lab, the pH test, we found that the pH 2 worked the best because it wasn't harsh.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Photosynthesis "Dry Lab"

Materials Required for Lab
  • Water
  • Bromothymol blue (BTB)
  • 4 Straws
  • Aquarium snails
  • Elodeas (aquarium plant)
  • 4 beakers
You will need a light source and a dark space.

To observe Photosynthesis. 

  1. Fill the 4 beakers with water. Add BTB to one. Insert the straw and blow through straw to create bubbles. Observe the reaction (Carbon dioxide from exhaled breath and water creates carbonic acid, which causes a change in color.)
  2. Move to next beaker and add BTB. Add the aquarium snail. The snail will replace the straw's function. Observe reaction. (BTB turns yellow when exposed to acid.)
  3. To another beaker, add BTB and elodea, the plant will act like the snail and straw. Observe reaction. (Green plants photosynthesize in the light and respire all the time.)
  4. Use last beaker. Add BTB, snail, elodea. Observe in light. Put in dark for 3 hours and take out to observe if any changes have taken place. (BTB changes to a yellow color when exposed to acid and back to blue-green when returned to neutral pH.)
  1. What happens when you blow through the straw? Why?
  2. What do plants need to photosynthesize?
  3. What does carbon dioxide yield when chlorophyll and sunlight are present?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Castor Beans- Ricin and RCA

I've been very interested in castor beans since the time that my Korean grandmother told me that it was ok to eat the leaves.

The poison Ricin is a protein extracted from the Castor Bean. One milligram will kill an adult. The ricin works by destroying ribosomes in cells. Castor beans also carry the poison RCA(Ricinus communis agglutinin). This poison makes the blood coagulate but dones not get past the intestinal wall. Though extremely dangerous, castor beans make beautiful plants. You only have to remember not to eat the beans.