Today I bring you a bacteria focused experiment that I conducted at home, and you can too! This activity demonstrates the importance of personal hygiene and good cleanliness!
The kit I purchased contains nutrient agar, petri dishes, and sterile inoculation loops. Following the instructions, I heated the nutrient agar and distributed the solution between petri dishes. I labelled the dishes and left the solution to set. To avoid contamination I used one inoculation loop per surface swabbed. I swabbed a variety of things, including my phone, my Snowy toy dog, and even my bellybutton. With each contaminated inoculation loop, I rubbed it lightly in a zigzag motion over the agar. Another thing to add is to be careful not to leave the lid off for too long, as the dish might get contaminated by airborne particles.
Next, I sealed the lids with tape, popped them in a cardboard box and left them in a warm place to encourage them to grow.
In only a few days, I noticed some major changes to a couple of the petri dishes!
LOOK AT THE BELLYBUTTON PETRI DISH!!! I’m amazed and aghast at the same time! The same goes for my phone too!
Now let me clarify that I am a CLEAN person. I shower daily, always wash my hands, etc. But I never thought to clean my bellybutton! I did read in one study, that scientists swabbed sixty belly buttons and identified one thousand four hundred and fifty-eight new species of bacteria! One volunteer’s belly button held bacteria that had only been found in soil from Japan, where the volunteer had never been!
It’s safe to say that I have since paid special attention to cleaning my bellybutton and my mobile phone.
As for the other petri dishes there either has been tiny changes or no noticeable changes. I will continue to grow the bacteria and share with you the future findings!
There are harmful bacteria out there that can make us ill, so it is important to practice good hygiene, cook food thoroughly, and overall maintain a clean environment. However, there are also friendly and useful bacteria that perform important functions in our bodies and in the world. For example, there are bacteria in our large intestines that break down food our bodies can’t digest, allowing our intestines to absorb the nutrients from our food. Furthermore, we use bacteria to turn milk into a variety of dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt.
I hope you enjoyed this post on growing bacteria. Make sure to subscribe to this blog to get future updates! Furthermore, you can pre-order a copy of Microbes at Waterstones, Amazon or through my publishers, Thunderstone Books.
Until next time!