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Question on the Inhibiting Effects of Beta Carotene in Cancer Growth in Plants

Matthew Howatt mhowatt at ns.sympatico.ca
Mon Mar 5 15:56:57 EST 2001

Hi everyone,

I'm a grade 12 student at Horton High School in Greenwich, Nova Scotia,
Canada.  I was assigned the task of looking for a simple yet interesting
project idea for my biology class.  I searched the internet to see what
I might be able to find and I came up with this from scifair.org:

How effective is Beta Carotene in fighting cancer in Plants? This is a
very interesting project. I
                             won 2nd place in the science fair. You have
to plant 3 plants. One of your plants must be
                             watered with beta carotene which is a type
of vitamin and could be found in any Health Food
                             Store. Your other plant should be watered
with the beta carotene solution and tobacco water.
                             Your last plant should only be watered with
regular tap water. You must record your
                             observations on a daily basis. This project
takes about 2 months. Its a really good project and it
                             will definitely win in any science fair.
Good Luck!
                             CA USA - Wednesday, December 06, 2000 at
19:20:30 (MST)

I liked the subject because my father is an orthopaedic surgeon and
medicine interests me; however, the instructions are so vague that
neither my father, my biology teacher nor I could fill in some of the
gaps.  My father surmised that the tobacco water must carry the tobacco
mosaic virus but neither he nor my teacher were sure whether simple
"tobacco water" (which we don't even know exactly what it is) would
carry this virus or whether it is indeed the mosaic virus.

If anyone can give me any insight into how this procedure that I have
found would facilitate cancer development, whether the mosaic virus is
involved or not, what "tobacco water" is, how cancer in plants would be
observed, what plants I should use (we had thought tomatoes seemed good)
and any other related information, I would greatly appreciate it.

Matthew Howatt
mhowatt at ns.sympatico.ca

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