We've been doing a little experiment over the last couple weeks. Zaya got a bacteria growth kit for his birthday, and was very excited to begin collecting germs.
We prepared all our petri dishes first, which involved cooking up some germ-food. (Chicken stock and agar).
After letting them air dry...
We put them in the refrigerator to wait.
We collected germs around town while running errands. I even put them on my shopping list.
We sat them on the counter, and today I decided it was time to end the experiment. You can only have a stack of bacteria on your kitchen counter for so long before it starts to affect the family psyche. (They were under a towel, but I still knew they were there.)
The first six are about two weeks old, so some of those colonies (the creek water) have started to die away. Some, on the other hand, (the wal-mart cart handle) are still going disturbingly strong.
The last nine are just about a week old.
Here are the results. The picture first.
1. Spring Street park
2. Wal-mart cart handle
3. Door handle of the Wilkenson Drug Store
4. Coke puddle on McDonald's parking lot
5. Edge of McDonald's trashcan
6. McDonald's bathroom latch
7. Our backyard creek
8. Computer keyboard
9. Zaya's cough
10. Toilet ring
11. Fridge drain channel
12 Outside of raw egg shell
13. Miriam's finger trip
14. Washing machine ring
15. Top of soap bar in bathroom
As you can see from the picture, some of them were surprisingly germ-free. Notably the latch of the McDonald's bathroom stall, Zaya's cough, and the handle of the local pharmacy.
Some were distressingly active. i.e. the aforementioned Wal-mart cart handle, Mim's fingers, and the most surprising, which was the top of our soap bar in the bathroom. In fact, the germs that showed up on that one were different than any of the others. This was Safeguard soap, by the way, which is supposed to be anti-bacterial.
Another interesting thing to note...the large black germ colony from the Wal-mart cart handle looked exactly the colony from the toilet ring, and...wait for it...my computer keyboard. Yes, it is hard to type with sterile gloves on.
We have five petri dishes left, and plan to collect for those this week. I will not be sorry to be finished with this experiment.