A student of mine (at UIUC), after viewing the Gummy Bear Torture Chamber video making the rounds, asked if a gummy bear would succumb to the forces of high frequency sound waves. My curiosity was piqued so I tested it in the lab. It worked and that was the start of my crusade to use gummy bears to explain scientific concepts and how we do science.
Below each video are a few notes about concepts presented within as well as the materials used.
Some qualities and capabilities of Liquid Nitrogen.
Definition of a control.
The importance of controlling for variables.
Some uses of Liquid Nitrogen in science experimentation and research.
How gelatin is made from collagen.
Properties of hydrogels, manmade and natural.
Definition of edema.
Two scientists involved in first making liquefied gases.
2 yellow gummy bears straight from the package
1 yellow gummy bear soaked in tap water overnight
Pyrex jar without lid
cold safe gloves
Sonicating a Gummy Bear
High frequency sound waves are use to destroy the integrity of cells to make a cell lysate so cell biologists can study the inner workings of a cell more closely.
Sound waves are a physical force.
You shouldn’t eat in a lab!
Detergents can break apart cell membranes.
Why lettuce wilts when left out at warm temperatures.
What lysosomes do within a cell.
1 red gummy bear
1 ml distilled water
1 4ml polypropylene test tube
1 test tube holder
Misonix sonicator with probe set at “20”
Digesting Gummy Bears with Trypsin
Enyzme types vary along the digestive tract.
The organ from which trypsin originates is the pancreas.
The difference between a protein, a peptide, and an amino acid.
Trypsin is specific to cut apart proteins after the amino acids lysine and arginine (as long as they are not followed by a proline)
Enzymes work best at physiological temperature (37oC)
Warm liquids dissolve a gummy bear faster than cold liquids.
Definition of a hypothesis.
The varying pHs across the digestive tract.
The harsh environment of the digestive system causes cells to renew themselves every few days.
Controlling for variables is important in experimentation.
The uses of trypsin in research labs: protein sequencing and removing adherent tissue culture cells from a dish.
One use of trypsin in medicine: to dissolve blood clots
Trypsin is used to pre-digest pre-packaged food.
An example of a disease that involves trypsin.
4 green gummy bears,
20 mls 37oC trypsin (5x) (diluted from a 10x solution)
20mls 4oC trypsin (5x)
20 mls 37oC Phosphate Buffered Saline (1x)
20mls 4oC Phosphate Buffered Saline (1x)
4 stir plates
4 small stir bars
4 50ml erlenmeyer flasks
Gummy Bears Demonstrate Osmosis and Crystallization
Definition of Solution in Chemistry
Solute, Solvent, Dissolve are terms defined
The concepts of hypertonic and hypotonic solutions.
Osmosis and permeable membranes.
Crystallization can occur quickly or slowly, naturally or artificially.
Crystallization requires a supersaturated solution, and nucleation sites.
It also requires cooling, a chemical reaction, or a change in pH.
Examples of crystals in nature.
Do you want to make your own crystals? Try rock candy!
20 ml of saturated salt solution
(the ingredients for exact recipe
are not available to most)
1 orange gummy bear
drop gummy bear in beaker
leave uncovered for several days to 2 weeks
What Concepts are Presented in Determining Mass/Length of Gummy Bears and Keeping a Laboratory Notebook
The difference between Weight and Mass
The difference between Precision and Accuracy.
The concept of Uncertainty in measurement.
How to use an analytical balance and calipers.
How to set up and arrange a laboratory notebook.
1 Pkg Gummi Bears