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What are some science fair project ideas that make you look smart?

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One idea for an impressive science fair project is DNA extraction of fruit using household chemicals. Another science fair project that makes you seem smart involves testing different recrystallization methods to find the one that produces the purest, largest crystals.

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Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a chemical containing genetic coding in organisms. Science students can make use of household chemicals to break open the cells of a strawberry and separate out its DNA. To begin, place 1/2-cup rubbing alcohol in the freezer to chill. Stir 1-tablespoon dishwashing detergent, 1/3-cup water and 1/2-teaspoon table salt in a cup. Line a funnel with a sheet of cheesecloth, and place it in a glass.

Finely smash three strawberries in a sealable plastic bag, and then pour 3 tablespoons of the detergent, water and salt mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, and squish around the contents for one minute before pouring them into the funnel to filter out the pulp. Pour the liquid that drips into the glass into a test tube until it is one-quarter of the way full, and add 1/4 cup of the chilled rubbing alcohol into the tube. As DNA is not dissolvable in alcohol, the white, stringy DNA visibly precipitates out into the layer containing the alcohol.

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