STUDENTS DO NEW DISCOVERY
Three students in 2T1 inadvertently inoculated a fungus on a starch plate. It seemed as if their plate couldn't be used and as if they failed. But looking more closely Jos, Pim, Kelvin and their teacher concluded they witnessed something special: this fungus covers most of the plate, but avoids the area around a bacterial colony. Probably this bacterium can produce some kind of antibiotic, a defense against the fungus.
It's just like Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin (also done 'by accident'), but this time the other way round!
Mankind has been using yeast, fungi and bacteria to produce food for a long time. More recently we've started harvesting and using enzymes (not just to do the laundry) and since about thirty five years gene technology is on the rise. In science class we will focus on the classic biotechnology with special attention for bacteria and fungi.
Growing bacteria and fungi
Petri dishes with nutrient agar are very good to grow bacteria and fungi (see the pictures to the left and the youtube movie). You will use this technique to investigate various sources of infection. You will also use an inoculation loop and cotton swabs.
Produce and keep food
We will make our own yoghurt and sauerkraut (see youtube movie), but also look up information about pasteurising and sterilising.
After some standard research you will do your own investigation in groups of 3-4: looking for cleaner and dirtier places in school. You will make your own choices and will write a report about it.
1. What is biotechnology and what can we do with it?
2. Wikipedia about biotechnology
3. How to preserve food
4. Life cycle of a fungus (check the animation)
5. Reproduction (division) of bacteria
6. How to write a report
Growing bacteria - the Petri dish
Making homemade sauerkraut
Mythbusters and micro-organisms
History of pasteurization