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2005 Amanda Carroll

Outstanding Marine Science Project Falmouth High School Science Fair

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Title of project: "The Effects of Diesel Fuel on the Embryo Development of Strongylocentrotus Droebachiensis."
This experiment was designed to see how chemical pollutants such as diesel fuel affect embryo development and thus survival of an important biologic model, the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. The embryos were exposed to different concentrations of the fuel and the affects on their development were observed for a period of seven hours. After seven hours the stages of the embryos were recorded and condensed into an average. The principle results showed that:

1) a high concentration of diesel fuel such as 0.01% is fatal to the embryos,
2) there was no significant difference between the concentrations of 0.001% and 0.0001% diesel fuel,
3) higher concentrations of diesel yielded more frequent abnormalities in development, and
4) marine paints are more harmful to the embryos when painted on wood rather than plastic.

The conclusions derived from these results were that diesel fuel causes lack of development and mutations in embryos that increase with concentration and that marine paints on wood are more harmful than diesel in some circumstances. Human contamination of ocean environments can lead to the death and mutation of sea urchins.

Last updated: March 4, 2010

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