HELP: Growing Bacteria

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HELP: Growing Bacteria

Post by bbkevin817 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:00 am

Hi, I'm doing a science fair project and it involves growing bacteria (E. coli) and determining the effectiveness of garlic in fighting bacteria. The link is here: ... _39_2.html

I have a couple questions about this project...
1) How long would it take me to grow the E. coli without an incubator? I have a heating pad, and after setting it on LOW, I wrapped it around a thermometer. According to the thermometer, it's 35 Celsius when wrapped. So, could I wrap the E. coli petri dishes with a heating pad on low setting to mimic the temperature of a real incubator?
2) Why is it necessary to add the E. coli specimen to milk before putting it on the agar petri dish? (see link above)
3) Would nutrient agar or sheep's blood agar be best for this experiment?

Also, this is irrelevant, but in case the topic above does not work out, I might do a project requiring ampicillin. If I end up doing that project, how will I acquire the ampicillin? Isn't a prescription from a doctor required for apicillin?


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Inland Taipan
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Post by canalon » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:03 am

1) could work. But E. coli will aslo grow at Room temperature. Not very fast, but colonies are visible after 2 days (instead of over night) and then will grow nicely.

2) mixing and diluting as far as I can see.

3) Blood agar is richer, but most E. coli will grow on nutrient agar too. albeit marginally slower. It probably does not really matter as long as you are consistent

To your add-on: yes antibiotics are only available on prescription only. Your school might be able to order the stuff from chemical companies. But it is not very cheap and I do not know what the school prof is allowed to do. Or ask nicely your friendly neighbourhood bacteriologist (in local university or community college)

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)

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