Testing Antibiotics

Testing Antibiotics

Lower Sixth Biologists have been studying antibiotics, culminating in a practical lesson where the group tested various antibiotic samples.

In preparation for this lesson, the students grew different types of bacteria in petri dishes, using agar agar gel to provide nutrients whilst avoiding contamination.

They then took care to use aseptic techniques to maintain a clean environment and avoid contamination from unwanted microbes. This involved applying antibacterial cleaner to all surfaces, using a Bunsen Burner to provide convection currents to draw microbes away, and sterilising utensils over the flame before use.

Different antibiotic samples were then introduced to the petri dishes and incubated for 24 hours, before the ‘clear zone’ in each dish was measured. The larger the clear zone, the more effective the antibiotic on the bacterium present.

A fascinating topic, the students have also discussed the dangers of wide-spread antibiotic resistance and its potential impact on global health.

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Testing Antibiotics