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Nicotine and cancerFeatured science projectScience project video


This science fair project was performed to study the effect of nicotine on cancer cell growth. The experiment was done by exposing human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells to nicotine


The human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells will grow at a faster rate after being exposed to nicotine.

Scientific Terms

Cancer, benign tumor, malignant tumor, nicotine


Cancer and nicotine

Cancer is a condition where a cell will become abnormal by uncontrolled multiplication and growth. Under normal conditions, a healthy cell will only multiply and grow when our body needs the additional cells. This condition is required to maintain our healthy body. However, when the cells start to multiply without control, a mass of tissue called a tumor will start to form. The tumor can be either benign or malignant.

Benign tumors can be removed and will not grow again. This tumor is not cancerous. Benign tumors cannot spread to other parts of the body and are not a threat to human lives. In contrast, malignant tumors are cancerous cells. They are able to invade and cause damage to organs and tissues located adjacent to the malignant tumor. These cells can also enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body.

The presence of nicotine can cause cancer cells to grow more quickly. One of the common sources of nicotine is cigarette smoking. Nicotine in itself does not initiate cancer; however, the byproducts of nicotine and other substances found in cigarette smoke can trigger the start of cancer.

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 day for preparation, 3 days for experiment
Material availability:
You will require access to a laboratory. Enlist the help of school staff to procure the necessary tissue samples
Safety concerns: