Sizing the Rainbow
Iris Liu, Fei Ying
University Transition Program
Floor Location : M 036 D

In our science fair experiment, homemade gel electrophoresis apparatuses were used to test the distances different component colours of food colouring would travel. It was hypothesized that each component colour would a travel consistent distance regardless of whether they were isolated as a control group or in a mixture. This hypothesis was developed based on the gel electrophoresis concept, as gel electrophoresis is a method often used by laboratories to separate macromolecules by their particle sizes and charge using an electric current. It is a technique commonly used in genetic sciences to separate DNA, RNA, and proteins. The smaller the particle, the further it travels, due to less resistance in the gel. For our science fair, we experimented with food colouring which had a negative charge, thus it was attracted to the positive anode and travelled in a constant direction. The three primary colours, red, blue, and yellow, were used as controls to which colour mixtures were compared. The secondary and tertiary colour mixtures we tested in our experiment were green, brown, and purple. The main purpose of our science fair was to investigate the different distances each food colouring would travelled, which would in turn indicate the different respective macromolecule sizes of each different colour. Each component colour travelled identical distances when it was both isolated and in a mixture, due to macromolecule sizes, thus proving our null hypothesis correct.