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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Grow Apples or Tomatoes in Bottles

‘Impossible bottles’ are bottles containing things that appear too big to have been put in through the neck of the bottle, such as ships, decks of cards, or whole fruit (some liqueurs come in bottles with whole fruit in them). Things like ships are actually put into the bottle in …

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Watching Minibeasts

Minibeasts are small invertebrates and include arthropods such as spiders, insects, woodlice, centipedes and millipedes, as well as slugs and snails and worms. Invertebrates are animals without backbones, which means that they are either soft bodied, like slugs, snails and worms, or have a hard outer skeleton like insects and …

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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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