How Seeds Germinate in Extreme Gravitational Environments Combined with Earth's Gravity

Schenectady, New York
BiologyEarth Science
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About This Project

With an increasing number of exoplanets being discovered it's evident that the variety and diversity of exoplanets is limitless. In order to better understand what types of life may arise on exoplanets, it is important to be able to study the effects of different environments on life as we know it. Planets similar to earth, but larger in size and gravity could still harbor life. This study looks at how higher gravity environments combined with earths gravity affect plant cell growth.

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What is the context of this research?

This project will explore one aspect of how different environments not common on earth can effect the way biological systems operate. With the Spitzer telescope discovering planets dubbed "super earths" (http://iopscience.iop.org/arti...) it is becoming apparent that planets exactly the size of earth or close, is rare. Therefore, it is important to better define the boundaries at which life can still flourish. In this study we will explore the gravitational boundaries for life to exist.

What is the significance of this project?

Understanding the upper boundaries of life when it comes to gravity will allow astronomers to narrow their search for the chemical signatures of life to those planets that are within the size considered habitable from a gravitational point of view.

What are the goals of the project?

The goal of this project is to test the germination of seeds at various levels of continuous gravitational exposure. We would like to explore the upper limits at which the seeds will germinate, if such a limit exists. We will test germination time, seed and leaf size, and other factors to determine what effects, if any can be documented.

Budget

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The budget will be used to create a centrifuged designed to allow for seeds to germinate. It will run for 10 days to give adequate time for germination to occur. The seeds will be compared to seeds in a control group with all the same variables except for the lack of extra "gravity."

Endorsed by

This project is actually very exciting, due the fact it would be interesting to see what forces can foster life, and from that can give an idea to what planets could do the same based off this project. . I think Victor would be great for this project because he’s interested in physics and has a background knowledge for it as well. (As he’s currently attending classes for Physics degree)

Flag iconProject Timeline

We will build our centrifuge in about 2 days after funding. We will then run the centrifuge in 10 day increments. Each time increasing the velocity by 2 gravitational force and changing out the specimen. The study will conclude after 10G's is achieved.

Oct 19, 2017

Project Launched

Nov 04, 2017

Build Centrifuge

Nov 05, 2017

Run sample at 2 g's

Nov 15, 2017

Run sample at 4 g's

Nov 25, 2017

Run sample at 6 g's

Meet the Team

Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez

I am a personal scientist. I am working towards a physics degree at Hudson Valley Community College. I conduct a wide variety of studies and experiments independently.

Additional Information

The total gravity experienced by the specimen will be calculated based on the rotational speed of the centrifuge, and the additional vector component of earths gravity.


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