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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2017, 10:05 AM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

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Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Count the colonies? No. That tells you how many times you released bacteria from your swab as you moved it along the plate. On agar a single bacteria can ultimately grow into a colony given time.

You really don't have the equipment, technique, or background to draw the conclusions you're trying to draw. Its a fun exercise, but amounts to children's kitchen science (watch, I can grown bacteria!!). Just bear in mind you aren't going to be able to drawn any conclusions at the end of this.
I have an extensive background in laboratory science, albeit in organic and petroleum chemistry and not in biochemistry. I do expect to be able to generate useful data, so it's important to design the experiments properly. That's why I've put posts in this thread, to see if anyone else has input. Equipment is not a problem, as I have several high end microscopes on hand and can order the correct supplies, and as far as technique and background, I think that's covered too.

I don't usually talk about my nerdy history, since it puts people to sleep. A literature search is the best way to turn up correct information from peer-reviewed journals, but participative science is not beyond the grasp of the average person, and I thought people might be interested in the process. It sounds like you do have some biotech or medical experience, so any contributions would be appreciated!
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:36 AM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

The scientific method is a beautiful thing. I consider experimental design and statistical analysis to be fascinating. I am loving this thread... enjoying the science and seeing how we interact with it.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:05 PM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Kentuckienne, I am a biologist by training, so I have experience in biological experimental design.

Not to belabor the point (understand I'm not at all trying to be nasty or come at you, just adding the actual biological experience here), but my contribution here is to temper your expectations - not necessarily dissuade you from doing it. You aren't able to correctly identify the bacteria you are culturing - last checked you don't have a several thousand dollar DNA sequencer. If you can't even identify what you are culturing you cannot draw any valid conclusions.

Microbiology is fickle that way. As you somewhat implied yourself when you acknowledged no biological experience above, biology is not chemistry.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:49 PM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

I found that news stuff I was talking about.
High bacteria levels in bean sprouts: CBC probe - Manitoba - CBC News
Growing Sprouts in Retail Food Establishment - CFP Issues 02-III-01 and 04-III-012
Not safe to eat: Three foods to avoid - CNN.com
and about home-growing...
https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/type...s/sprouts.html
Fortunately, we don't LIKE them, so it's no skin off our proverbial buttfeathers.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:27 PM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Kentuckienne, I am a biologist by training, so I have experience in biological experimental design.

Not to belabor the point (understand I'm not at all trying to be nasty or come at you, just adding the actual biological experience here), but my contribution here is to temper your expectations - not necessarily dissuade you from doing it. You aren't able to correctly identify the bacteria you are culturing - last checked you don't have a several thousand dollar DNA sequencer. If you can't even identify what you are culturing you cannot draw any valid conclusions.

Microbiology is fickle that way. As you somewhat implied yourself when you acknowledged no biological experience above, biology is not chemistry.
I came across a reference to "E. Coli test kit" online so I started looking for those. I know, it's not DNA accurate, but perhaps accurate enough for our purposes? Here's a sample of what I found - would appreciate advice from anyone.

Coliscan EasyGel, test kit for 10 tests is about $30, uses pre-treated dishes and media that inhibits other bacteria to quantify (I assume roughly) E. Coli:
https://www.micrologylabs.com/page/93/Coliscan-Easygel

General presence/absence tests for coliform and e.coli, simply indicate present or not, without quantifying how much is in each sample. These are fairly inexpensive and available from lots of places, such as "Industrial Test Systems 487197 WaterWorks EZ Cult Bacteria Test" from Amazon

Interesting and simple semi-quantitative test from Aquagenx, haven't found the price yet:
https://www.aquagenx.com/wp-content/...er_Sobsey1.pdf

So far, Coliscan EasyGel looks like the best option, but I'll keep looking.

The CDC says:
Reduce your risk of getting sick from raw sprouts.
Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness.
Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking sprouts thoroughly kills the harmful bacteria.
Request that raw sprouts not be added to your food. If you purchase a sandwich or salad at a restaurant or deli, check to make sure that raw sprouts have not been added.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:04 AM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Quote: Originally Posted by GaleriaGila View Post
With respect I fail to see the relevance of most of these links as they go back to 2011, we are in 2017 are we not? If you want to put up links to be taken seriously try and find something that is recent and can be taken seriously or it is just scare mongering. You will of course be adhering to the recommendation on eggs, meat, seafood, milk products, fruit juices? The one on pet food was interesting though. I am happy to read any info but make it timely and relevant please?

Edit: Digging deeper myself I have found this https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/readi...16/advice.html This relates to 2016 so is worth reading IMO. So in the interests of safety all those in the US that buy their sprouts for their own consumption or their birds need to exercise caution.
I am happy with the source of sprouts I am able to purchase in the UK/EU.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:15 AM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Kudos Kentuckienne for doing the science. I look forward to hearing about the experiment!
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:19 PM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Hey, what's the worst that can happen, I learn nothing. More likely I'll learn something on a macro scale that provides some useful information. I probably learn more from doing literature searches and relying on trusted sources, but it's so much FUN to play with science! Just the mental effort to design an experiment, carry it out and interpret the results is worthwhile even if the results aren't useful. It's good thinking practice. That's why I opened the project to everyone who wants to be involvement or have input. I sure don't know what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me yet!
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Old 01-23-2017, 04:31 AM
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Re: Let's do science! Experiment A: SPROUTING

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
Hey, what's the worst that can happen, I learn nothing. More likely I'll learn something on a macro scale that provides some useful information. I probably learn more from doing literature searches and relying on trusted sources, but it's so much FUN to play with science! Just the mental effort to design an experiment, carry it out and interpret the results is worthwhile even if the results aren't useful. It's good thinking practice. That's why I opened the project to everyone who wants to be involvement or have input. I sure don't know what I'm doing, but that's never stopped me yet!
I'm dying here! Have we got any results yet?
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