Chemistry Science Fair Project
Soybean chemiluminescence levels altered in the presence of an oxidizing or reducing agent

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Project Information
Title: Show that soybean plants emit chemiluminescence and that chemiluminescence levels can be altered in the presence of an oxidizing or reducing agent.
Subject: Chemistry
Grade level: High School - Grades 10-12
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
First Place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair 2005
Gold medal at Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair 2003
Gold medal at Canada Wide Science Fair 2003
2nd place in Biochemistry Category at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2004

Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2005
Description: This project demonstrates that levels of oxygen radicals can be determine by measuring chemiluminescence emitted from an organism. Because oxygen radicals (which are energized oxygen molecules) have a variety of negative biological consequences, it is important to be able to ascertain their levels. To test that chemiluminescence is an indicator of oxygen radicals, light emission is tested from soybean plants that had been incubated in an oxidizing agent, a reducing agent, or water, as a control using a scintillation counter.

Chemiluminescence (sometimes "chemoluminescence") is the emission of light (luminescence) with limited emission of heat as the result of a chemical reaction.

Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism as the result of a chemical reaction during which chemical energy is converted to light energy. Its name is a hybrid word, originating from the Greek bios for "living" and the Latin lumen "light". Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is involved in most instances. The chemical reaction can occur either inside or outside the cell. In bacteria, the expression of genes related to bioluminescence is controlled by an operon called the Lux operon. Bioluminescence has appeared independently several times (up to 30 or more) during evolution.

Bioluminescence occurs in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, as well as microorganisms and terrestrial animals. Symbiotic organisms carried within larger organisms are also known to bioluminesce.

For More Information:
Chemiluminescence Experiments & Background Information
Bioluminescence K-12 Experiments & Background Information

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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