Sunday, December 15, 2013

Nicotine Science Projects

Nicotine can be found in the nightshade family of plants.

Nicotine is the addictive substance that occurs naturally in the tobacco plant. This substance is poisonous and when it is concentrated, it can be used as an insecticide. The effects of nicotine on the human body are well documented because of the research gathered on smoking. However, the effects of nicotine can be investigated in a variety of other science projects.

Effect of Nicotine on Plant Growth

To investigate the impact of nicotine on plant growth, it is important to procure healthy plants of the same type and size. One plant will be the control specimen. The other three to five specimens will be the test subjects. All the variables should remain the same except for one. The specimens should receive the same amount of sunlight. The plants should also receive the same amount of liquids although the type should be varied. The control plant should only receive water. With great care, dissolve nicotine gum in water. Prepare several different concentrations of nicotine liquid such as 5, 10, 15, and 20 percent solutions. Then, each day water the plants with the same amount of liquid (ex: 5 ml per watering). Track the results for a few weeks, recording the measurements, and examine the impact of nicotine on plant growth.

Effect of Nicotine on Fetal Brain Cells

It is also possible to test the survival rate of fetal rat cells if different solutions of nicotine are applied to the cells. After obtaining fetal rat cells, place them on cover slips coated with 10 micrograms per ml of poly-d-lysine. Then, randomly select five areas on the coverslip and count the number of brain cells in that area. One of the areas should not be treated, and it will serve as the control. The other four areas can be treated with various concentrations of nicotine solution. Then, after twenty-four hours, count the remaining healthy brain cells in each sample and compare the results.

Effect of Nicotine on Cancer Cells

It is a fact that cigarette smoking causes cancer. This project considers the impact of nicotine on existing cancerous cells. Human colon cancer cells are used. These cells are kept at the same temperature, and they have the same period of incubation. The number of cells in the samples is determined with "colorimetric analysis using the phosphatase assay kit." Four tissue samples are prepared, and a colorimetric analysis is completed on each. One sample is the control and receives no solution. The other samples each receive a different concentration of nicotine solution. After a three-day incubation, a colorimetric analysis should be run again, and the results should be compared.

Effect of Nicotine on Appetite

The effect of nicotine on appetite can be assessed by studying subjects who typically smoke cigarettes on a daily basis. The subjects should be asked to log their food intake and the number of cigarettes smoked per day for one to two weeks. Then, these subjects can be asked to lessen their cigarette use by 25 percent for a week while they continue to assess their food intake. The following week they should lessen their cigarette use by 50 percent and assess their food intake. The results can then be analyzed to see how nicotine impacts appetite.

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