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Gyppo

navy shirt
Local time
Today, 07:10
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
163
Location
on your eyes
#1
Does anyone have any unfulfilled project ideas or research they'd like to but can't be bothered to do in the spheres of Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Psychology (or anything else I suppose if I think it's particularly interesting) that I could reasonably make some progress on throughout the coming year? I'm 17, inexperienced and fairly poor, yet very eager. Controlled destruction and mild mental or physical abuse of humans or other animals welcome but I won't risk going to prison.
 

Pyropyro

Magos Biologis
Local time
Today, 15:10
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
4,050
Location
Philippines
#2
Well you can go for urban farming.

You could start with something simple like soda bottle gardens:
If you're feeling a bit ambitious you can go for exotic crops through a greenhouse or aquaponics.

It will help lower your food expenses, will cause you some mental and physical harm (exercise :P ) and give you experience that might be useful in the future if you're going for soil science or any agri fields.
 

Cognisant

Condescending Bastard
Local time
Yesterday, 20:10
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
7,966
#4
Download Blender, watch some Youtube tutorials, do some 3D modelling.
Download eMachineShop, watch some Youtube tutorials, do some drafting.
Design something, make it, sell it.

The software is free and as long as your computer isn't a potato it should run okay and when you get to the prototyping stage I'll do my best to advise you on intellectual property protection and finding investors or doing a Kickstarter campaign.

If you need help finding off-the-shelf parts or figuring out how to do something with the software just ask. If you need to figure out if something is strong enough to bear a load there's free finite point analysis software available but you're generally better of finding a roughly equivalent bit of metal/plastic and smacking it about a bit to get an intuitive understanding of how strong it is. Engineers fresh out of university have a tendency to over-optimize their designs, heck even industry leaders like Apple do it (iphones bending when sat on), imo there's no substitute for stress testing something than beating the shit out of it to see when and how it breaks.

As for what to make...
Generally it's easiest to make toys for rich people (the world's richest 1% of seven billion is still seventy million people) or cheap shit for everyone else, except the cheap shit is more about being able to manufacture stuff cheaply than the thing itself. Peeps are a perfect example of this, they're mostly air with a bit of sugar and binding agent, if you're mass producing them you can sell a pack per dollar and be making 90% profit.

I think we're in a new post-industrial Renaissance, it's never been easier to make something new and find someone to buy it, especially if that thing is expensive, attractive and a niche interest.
*long pained sigh* Sex dolls are a perfect example of this.

Whoever invented the silicone boobs mouse pad is probably a billionaire by now.

*depressed*
 

Gyppo

navy shirt
Local time
Today, 07:10
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
163
Location
on your eyes
#5
Yeah, I think I will do some farming urbanly. Could do with a bit less decadence. Aquaponics looks cool.
 

Ex-User (13503)

Well-Known Member
Local time
Today, 07:10
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
575
#6
Biology, chemistry, physics, or psychology... those fields are extremely diverse. Is there anything more specific that interests you, or is your goal just to experience those fields, to find your interests?

If finances are an issue, maybe you could volunteer in a prof’s lab at a local university, or with a graduate student (more likely), so you’d have access to pro equipment and guidance. Just find one doing research that interests you and ask if you can volunteer. Some of them will probably want nothing to do with you, but you have a shot if you can show you know what you’re talking about by asking specific questions. Could turn into a scholarship/fellowship/job/letters of recommendation, etc.

Is there an equivalent to PJAS where you live? Something at the high school level that could connect you to locals in the fields you’re interested in?

If you want to mess around with agent-based simulations: https://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/download.shtml

Psychology: There are usually hurdles involved in psych research; guidelines, approval processes, etc. You could informally do surveys and the like.

If you just want to learn more about Jungian psychology: http://www.erictb.info/archetypes.html

Chemistry: https://www.sciencemadness.org/whisper/

Biology: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/diybio

A low budget ecology experiment might look something like this:

-You’ll need 2 fish tanks for proof of concept, or 6 for a publishable experiment. Stock them with a cheap fast-breeding fish, like guppies. You could do stuff like this: https://u.osu.edu/hamilton.598/research/ Maybe the sex ratio they grow up in determines how aggressive they are as adults, for example. You can test a bunch of variables (pollutants/adulterants) on outcomes like fecundity, sex ratio of offspring, survival rate, growth rate, etc. Medications, pesticides, and lots of other stuff could be endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, change behavior, etc.

You could swap out your organisms too. There are plenty of cheap ones out there: tons of plant species, earthworms, mealworms, oyster mushrooms, woodlice, daphnia, zebra fish, fruit flies, yeast, marbled crayfish… Swap out treatments/manipulations, tested outcomes. Wherever Ne takes you.

More:
-Keratin is high in protein but difficult to digest/decompose, so to use it as animal feed, it’s chemically hydrolyzed. It might be cool to condition a dermestid or soldier fly colony to consume 100% keratin, which could maybe be patented/sold if the strain can be maintained. I don’t have space to do this at the moment, so anyone can go for it as far as I’m concerned.

-Expose seeds/fungi to microwave or UV radiation (1-3 secs) to induce mutations and produce new strains.

-I found a nearly 20% increase in LER in potato/sweet corn intercropping when the potatoes are planted under 6” of wood chips/straw that’s been innoculated with king stropharia spawn vs plain wood chips/straw mulch vs no mulch vs monocultures. Proof of concept passed. No stropharia have been harvested yet either, so total yield is probably higher. It’s the wrong time of year to start it in the northern hemisphere, but you could try to replicate it if you want. There’s lots of variables to mess with (plant variety, timing and order of planting, soil qualities, adding fertilizer/other additives/nutrients, mushroom species/strains, different mushroom substrates, irrigation/rainfall, planting method (burying potatoes vs just putting them on the surface and covering with mulch…), and lots of outcomes to measure. What effect does this have on soil fertility, microbiota, invertebrates, pests/disease, carbon sequestration, erosion, pesticide residue/pollutants in soil…? Somebody could turn this into a dissertation lol.

-Or just combine science with your art interests and make 3-D sculptures with gel electrophoresis or something.
 
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