The Science of Making Cheese

Cheese is made from milk. This is most often cows’ milk, but it can be made from milk from sheep, buffaloes and goats – even yaks. It can be soft or hard, and high or low in fat. Cheese making may have started around 6000 or 7000 years ago, or …

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Extracting DNA

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the molecule that carries the genetic information (the instructions) for the cell, and DNA is found in all cells that have a nucleus. DNA is made of two chains of molecules known as nucleotides. The nucleotides in one chain link to the nucleotides in the other …

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Testing Paper for Strength

Paper is used for a great many things, from paper towels and tissues through sheets of paper for printing at home or work, to special paper for banknotes, and each different use needs a different kind of paper with different properties. Manufacturers have to test their paper for these properties, …

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Seeds: Wet and Dry

Plants grown from seeds, from the smallest (an orchid, at 85 micrometers long) to the largest (the Coco de Mer palm, at about 30 cm long). Seeds are amazing things – it’s incredible that a seed the size of a grain of oatmeal can produce a tree as tall as …

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Growing Plants in Different Soils

Like animals and humans, plants need water, air and food to grow. They get all of these from their growing medium – the compost or soil that they grow in. This experiment looks at the effect that different growing mediums – sand, soil, compost, and bark – have on the …

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What’s in a Seed?

Seeds contain the potential to be a whole new plant, and just need a bit of water, care and attention, as well as a bit of time, to grow. Seeds range from smaller than grains of sand (orchids) to about as big as a football (Coco de Mer palm) but …

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Growing Plants Without Soil

Growing plants without soil is known as hydroponics. Plants can be grown in many different growing mediums, such as, gravel, sand, perlite, vermiculite, rockwool, clay pellets, bark or coconut fibre, or in water or even air (the roots hang in a mist of water). When plants are grown normally, in …

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Finding and Watching Mites

Mites are small invertebrates from the group Arachnida, the same group as spiders. Many people are not aware of the mites around them, as most mites are microscopic. Mites as Pests Mites live all around the world, and many are pests, such as red spider mites, which attack plants, and …

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Finding Flowers and Trees

Many people feel that they have to travel to the countryside to see flowers and trees, but according to a study in Germany in 2008, there are more different species of plants found in towns and cities than in the countryside. One thing to remember, in both the town and …

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Make a Rubber Band from a Dandelion

Rubber is a natural product made from latex. Many plants, including dandelions, produce latex but most of the world’s latex, the key ingredient of rubber, comes from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. Rubber is a very versatile product, and has many uses, including tyres, balloons, balls, shoes, erasers, playground surfaces, …

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