Is alcohol bad for you science fair project will surprise you with the results.
2nd Grade – Age 7
K-12 – 1st Prize Winner of the 2007 Virtual Science Fair Contest
What effect does alcohol have on the brain?
Alcohol will shrink the brain.
- Break an egg into each bowl
- Add each fluid to an egg
- One egg is the control. No fluid is added.
- Wait 5 hours.
- Observe the results using the graph paper lined Petri dish. Count the squares that are visible.
The results were somewhat as I expected. The only fluids that cause a change in the egg whites were the beer, vodka and Diet 7-Up. Each of these caused the egg whites to shrink and coagulate.
Vodka: 93.6% coagulated
Beer: 77.4% coagulated
Diet 7-Up: 93% coagulated
All others 0% coagulated
The alcohol destroyed the egg whites which are made of proteins. Our brain cells are made of proteins also. So alcohol could kill our brain cells.
What I did not expect was that the Diet 7-Up hurt the egg whites also.
Beer 5.6% alcohol
A Petri dish
Alcohol can damage or kill the brain cells just like it did to the eggs. Don’t Drink Unless You Want Your Brain to Shrink!
Background Info:Coagulation: transformation of liquid to a solid mass.
Our cells are made up of proteins.
Denaturing: change the nature of a protein. (This structural change is what happens to the egg in alcohol.)
The egg acts as one cell made mostly of proteins which is identical to what brain cells are made of.
Autopsy results show chronic alcoholics have shrunken brains. The non-alcoholics don’t have shrunken brains.
CT scans show heavy drinking causes physical brain damage. One study of a group of alcoholics over a 5 year period showed the more alcohol consumed, the more the brain shrank.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol could damage the brain cells. Alcohol injures brain tissue that control memory, emotion, higher level functioning.
Alcoholic dementia: loss of intellect and problem solving, difficulty swallowing and using your hands. It accounts for about 20% of admissions to state mental hospitals.
Chronic brain injury by alcohol is 2nd only to Alzheimer’s as a cause of mental deterioration in adults.
Hydrophilic: attracted by water.
What I will do Differently Next Time
My next attempt in later science fair projects will be to use different brands of soft drinks to determine the effect on eggs (and the brain).