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Thread: Science Fair Project Idea

  1. #1 Science Fair Project Idea 
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    Jan 2009
    So I have been straining my mind for a science fair idea since august and have just now came up with a good idea. I was planning on studying the effects of addiction in mice. My idea is to get 9 mice and place them into 3 different cages and assign them each different numbers, A1 B1 C1, ect. I would then fill 3 different syringes with 2 addictive substances and one placebo ( Nicotine, Alcohol, and a saline/glucose solution). From then i would inject each of the three in A intramuscularly with a small dose of a chemical, B with a moderate dose, and C with a larger dose at a specific time each day for a few weeks, all the while trying to keep myself blinded from which mouse gets which of the three chemicals. I would also try and implement some sort of sensory detail for the mice to associate with the doses like maybe a citrus aerosol spray or a specific music track.

    After two or three weeks, or whatever time period at which they would be dependant upon the drugs, i would cease the doses and observe the withdrawal symptoms. I then plan to inject all of the mice with a placebo at their specific time with the specific sensory detail to test for a placebo calming of the withdrawal symptoms. I would also like to test any known treatments for addiction that i can find.

    Thanks for reading and I wish for some feedback, since my science teacher is of no help at all. Is this procedure ethical to the mice? How hard is it to keep these mice up and alive? Is there anything that i should not do or should change? Are there any other legal addictive substances that I could test? What are some over the counter or traditional addiction cures that i should test on them during withdrawals? Is there anything I could add to make this experiment better? Is there a way to extract the nicotine or can i purchase nicotine in a pure aqueous form? Any feedback will help, I truely appreciate any help that I can get from you.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Hi tycon,

    I used to work in a research lab that worked with mice, and we had to go through quite a good deal of paperwork and inspections and training to ensure the animal use board that there was no better alternative to this procedure for our research goals and that we were using the most ethical and human procedures as possible. However, we were also getting government money to do this, so I don't think that you would have to do quite all that if you're funding all this yourself, which I assume you are.

    My main point, however, is that animal testing is taken very seriously by the government, and it would not surprise me if there are local animal protection laws in place in your town or district that prohibit such things. This is something you need to check and double check very thoroughly before you procede any further at all.

    Have you worked with mice before? There is an ideal way to hold live mice and inject them with fluids intramuscularly in order to do it as quickly and with as least pain as possible, but it is something that takes practice, and if you mess up you could end up with a very injured, very much in pain mouse on your hands. There are restraint devices for such purposes, but I don't know how easy it would be for you to get one - even so, without practice you could still make a mistake and seriously harm your mouse. And, you have to consider what you would do with these mice when your study is done. Keep them as pets? Euthanize them? And if so, how would you euthanize them? These are just some of among many things you need to consider.

    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Why not do something non-invasive.

    one batch of mice you feed a restricted amount of daily food.

    the other batch you give free access to food.

    You measure in an exact manner what both groups are eating.

    And you weigh the mice.

    Null Hypothesis: Mice have an internal instinct that prevents them from overeating.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric
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