Disgusting Science

When I was in high school my favourite experiment was one where we swabbed surfaces and then patiently waited to see what bacteria grew in petri dishes. Oh how happy I am to be repeating it with LM.

We bought some petri dishes from a sale bin in my hometown and then looked up how to make the gelling base from gelatine and boiled water. We then asked for ideas online, but then ignored them because LM chose four fab surfaces; the toilet, the bottom of the bin, her snot (fresh from her own nose) and an old band-aid that we removed for the experiment.

LM did all the prep work and sampling. In hindsight I should have used the scientific method and had her develop a hypothesis, but I was so damn excited that I forgot.

We started this experiment before our recent Melbourne adventure so, the samples are now ready for review. The snot is pretty yucky, which I explained means that it’s doing it’s job of keeping bacteria out of her head, but not surprisingly the loo is a furry beast of bacteria. The bandaid has something powerful but it is isolated to a smaller area. Oddly, the bottom of the bin was fairly clean, possibly attributable to the fact that I fill the bottom of the bin with bicarb before I put the bin bag in.

The backpackers looked mildly disturbed by the fact that we are growing bacteria, you know, just because we can.




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