Help with my science project

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Help with my science project

Post by bbkevin817 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:08 pm

Hi, I'm doing a science fair project that requires growing E. coli bacteria to test the effectiveness of 3 acne medications. ( ... p019.shtml ). I plan on purchasing the E. coli from this website: ... D-ESCHCOL/

My question is that will it be safe to grow the E. coli at home? I plan on keeping the E. coli specimen in a ziploc bag and then putting the ziploc bag into a cardboard box. If I were to do the project at the school lab, I would only have thirty minutes to do so, because the after school session is only thirty minutes.

Also, my project tells me to use a Bunsen burner to sterilize the forceps, bacteria spreader, etc. However, I don't have access to a Bunsen burner or an autoclave, so could I just use a cotton pad, saturated with 70% ethanol, so sterilize the equipment?

And when I choose three acne medications to use, do they all need to be the same active ingredient (salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide) and the same concentration?


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Re: Help with my science project

Post by Tranc3r » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:10 am

I just want to start off by saying that this experiment will need atleast one week to grow the culture correctly. BE VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY CAREFUL IN DEALING WITH E.COLI! Be sure to wash your hands before and after.

All the questions you asked, you can ask your teacher, he/she should give you a direct or alternative answer/approach to the situation. You should ask them because he/she is going to be marking it, not us.

A few points
  • Try using a petri dish with agar instead, and divide it into four sections with a sharpie, like a pie divided into 4. Also, ask your teacher if you can use one of theirs if they have it.
    1. Control (without any acne treatment)
    2. Acne Treatment 1
    3. Acne Treatment 2
    4. Acne Treatment 3
  • Don't use a ziplock bag because that can easily be punctured and how would you be able to determine if your null hypothesis is to be reject or accepted?
  • Yes, all the sterilizing can be done in 30 minutes. I recommend you go to the afterschool session completely prepared to setup your petri dish. If you need further instructions to setup a petri dish, ask your teacher or come back here where I will give you complete in depth instructions, don't say I didn't warn you.
  • At your level, the only thing you really need to know is if you added the SAME amount (volume, not concentration) of the acne treatment to every test.
  • Be sure that when you use your bacteria spreader, use a very skinny zig-zag pattern going back and forth and once you're done, label the four divided sections on your petri dish as stated above. Once that is done, SEAL THE EDGE WITH MASKING TAPE! <--- this is very important!

If you need more information, I PM'd you my msn.

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