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Personal Information

First Name

Last Name

Dinesh

Dinesh

Your Age
14

Teammates (if any, and up to 3)


First Name

Last Name

Your Age
Age

First Name

Last Name

Your Age
Age

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Your Age
Age

Last Name

Curriculum
British

Your mailing address


PO Box

City

99500

Dubai

Emirate

Country

Dubai

UnitedArabEmirates

Your telephone number (where to reach you)


00971504950641

Your email address


dlohano@gmail.com

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School or institution mailing address


School or Institution name
SaintMary'sCatholicHighSchool,Dubai

PO Box

City

52232

Dubai

Emirate

Country

Dubai

UnitedArabEmirates

Name of your adult educator (teacher / parent / guardian /


other)
Salutation
Mr.

First Name
MuhammadAnwar

Last Name
UlHaq

Email
muhammad_ulhaq74@yahoo.com

Submission form

1. Describe your project in tweetable form (we may tweet it


after submissions are closed)

ToexplorewhetherornottheabsenceofgravityatISSaffectsPCRinDNA
Replication,specificallytheenzymereactionofDNAPolymeraseI

2. Describe the scientific problem that you propose to address.


What is the question you are trying to answer? What makes it
significant, relevant, or interesting?
DNAMutationsarethemostcommonissuesfacedduringspacetravel,anda
loopholecouldbeextremelyperilous.CosmicRadiation,thevacuumofspace
etc.areallverycommoncausesofmutations,butdoesmicrogravityplaya
roleaswell?DNAReplicationinvolvesDNAPolymeraseI,whichisavery
pivotalandimportantenzyme.Asweknow,enzymehavecertainconditions,
whichunlessfulfilled,willnotperformasexpected,suchasadifferencein
temperaturefromtheoptimumtemperatureoftheenzymewillslowthereaction
andeventuallydenatureifthereisalargedifference.Similarly,the
absenceorpresenceofgravitymightaffecttheworkingconditionsofDNA
PolymeraseI,andmayincreaseordecreasetherateofreaction,andreaching
anyoneoftheextremescouldbeparticularlydangerousandmaybecomeoneof
thereasonstoDNAMutations(errorsintheprocessofreplication)asfast
orslowreplicationmightresultinmoreerrorsinthebindingofthe
nitrogenousbases.SincehumansareadaptedtoDNAReplicationinagravity
controlledenvironment,theeffectsontheDNAmaybeadverse.

3. State your hypothesis. What are your objectives?

IbelievethatthemicrogravityonboardattheISSwillmutatetheDNAin
somewayduetoitsreadaptationinalmostzerogravityandthechangeof
itsrateofreactionintheenzymeactivityofDNAPolymeraseI,whichisthe
maincomponentinbindingtheDNA.Ihavetofindoutifmytheoretical
predictionsaretrueandiftheyapplytothepracticalworld.Reachingan
anticipatedconclusionwillmaybehelpusrelatetosomeconditionsthat
astronautsandspacetravelersfaceafterreturningbackingtoEartheg.Bone
densitydepletionetc.Ifwereabletodecipherthecausesbehindthese
issues,wemightbeabletolateravoidthemusingcountermeasure
equipment/precautions.

4. Explain how the unique environment aboard the International


Space Station is required to test your hypothesis. What
conditions of the space station are essential for your research?
TheuniqueenvironmentofmicrogravityattheISSisthemainvariable
involvedindiscoveringwhetherornotDNAisaffectedbygravityandhowit
couldchangeDNA(ormutateit).TheISSinspaceisalsotemperature
controlled,whichisalsoimportantformaintainingtheoptimumtemperature
requiredforenzymereactiontotakeplaceandavoidingitsdenaturization.
ThemoisturecontrolalsohelpstheDNAfromdehydratingsinceDNAisdriven
intotheAformwhenunderdehydratingconditions,andnoexposurefromthe
vacuumhelpspreventanycontamination.

5. Outline your experimental plan. How will you use PCR to test
your hypothesis? Specify for example: the samples you will
analyze, controls that you will use, and the possible
experimental outcomes.

PCRwillyouusedalongwithatarget,withtheDNAcontainingthegene
interestedinalongwiththetwoprimersalongwiththeenzymeDNAPolymerase
I,foundinalllivingcellsandresponsibleforcopyingDNAwhencell
dividesandchemicalsthatPolymeraseneedstobuildnewDNA.Temperatureis
controlledandisfirstheatedusingspecialPolymerasetoseparatethe
strands,whichwoulddestroynormalenzymes.Later,itiscooledtofindthe
matchinggeneandthenisleftattheoptimumtemperature.Theforceof
gravity,moisturelevels,radiationexposureandallotherfactorswhich
couldcontaminatetheexperimentshouldbecontrolledandanyformof
fluctuationcoulddecreasetheaccuracyoftheexperiment.Outcomesinclude
mutationsintheDNAduetotheeffectsofgravityandchangeintherateof
reactionandreplicationinDNA,eitherslowerorfasterandexperimentcan
bereplicatedtoprovidemoreaccurateoutcomes.