The Microbes and Health Kit allows you to set up a scenario in which students get to discover the cause of a new disease called "Yogurtness" — an affliction of "healthy" milk that causes it to become acidic and thick. What causes Yogurtness?™ Your students join Robert Koch, Louis Pasteur, and the founders of modern microbiology in a thrilling search to find the bacterial culprit behind this new disease. Using microscopes, agar plates, and their powers of observation, students identify the bacteria used to produce yogurt.
Features and Benefits
The chemistry of the bacterial cell is brought into focus in this inquiry-based laboratory kit as students examine bacteria and their interaction with the environment. With this kit students:
- Examine metabolism, cellular chemistry, and the role of bacteria in both disease and food microbiology
- Follow Koch's postulates to identify the causative agent for disease
- Isolate and culture yogurt-causing bacteria
- Learn microbiology skills and sterile technique
This kit is appropriate for biology, microbiology, health sciences, and biotechnology classes, or can be used for independent study.
Enzyme-catalyzed chemical reactions in bacteria provide energy for the bacteria as they change food into secreted waste products. In some cases, bacterial waste products create foods and nutrients for people; in other cases they cause disease. For a long time, biotechnology has utilized friendly bacteria in the production of foods such as cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, coffee, sour cream, vinegar, sausage, and yogurt. Other bacteria cause cholera, typhus, leprosy, tuberculosis, and anthrax. In this laboratory activity, students examine both the risks and benefits of bacteria to better understand their role in disease and food production.
- Three–session laboratory activity, 45 min per session
- Provides sufficient materials for eight student workstations, up to four students per workstation