Boojum, Baja Sur, Mexico

BIOL 230 project page
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Info for projects needing a known number of bacteria




Christine L. Case, Ed.D.
Biology Professor
Skyline College

Research Project Ideas

My home page Biology 230  

NASA has asked me whether Earth bacteria could grow on Mars, with little or no water. Design and conduct an experiment to select mutant bacteria that grow with little/no water. The environment contains "some small amount of water vapor in the atmosphere."

Antibiotic resistance. Own a pet? The hot topic in medicine is antibiotic resistance. Do household pets carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

Triclosan resistance. Hundreds of household products contain triclosan. Can bacteria develop resistance to this antimicrobial?

Discover a new antibiotic. Be on the cutting-edge of biomedical research: look for antibiotics in lichens or California native plants.

Air quality analyses. This is a unique opportunity because very few schools have air samplers. By designing an experiment to test air in Skyline's buildings, you can provide important baseline environmental data and locate any potential health problems. Select one building to study.

Evaluate the effect of wavelength on organisms in a Winogradsky enrichment.

Water quality analyses. This provides important public health information if your experiment includes weekly sampling of a body of water that is subject to sewage contamination. Count coliforms or biochemical oxygen demand at
Sharp Park (Pacific Ocean)
Linda Mar (Pacific Ocean)
Find the source of coliforms in Pedro Creek, Pacifica.

Determine the growth rate of cariogenic bacteria on different dietary carbohydrates.

Investigate the use of acetic acid or juglone for post-harvest decay. This refers to keeping produce after picking until you eat it, without using chemicals that are toxic to the consumer.

Identify and develop a key to lichens on campus.

Remember the fatal case of shigellosis due to salsa in a Redwood City restaurant? How did that happen. Determine the survival rate of bacteria in vegetables with respect to storage temperature and surface area. Read about bacterial numbers.

Determine what component of beer attracts snails?

Will depletion of the ozone layer affect primary productivity in aquatic ecosystems? Design an experiment to determine the effect of UV light on photosynthesis. On BOD. On Paramecium. On bacteria.*
How does wavelength affect Euglena's growth? Visible light, UV? Length of day? Sample protocol.

Use the Ames test to discover antimutagens.

Discover a new herbicide.*

Can plants be watered with seawater? Use Wisconsin Fast Plants.
Look for osmotic-stress proteins in plants.*
How much osmotic stress will the plants tolerate?

Determine the effect of [chemicals] on Paramecium growth.

Determine the effect of Lactococcus bacteriocins against E. coli or Salmonella.

Develop, implement, and evaluate a middle school teaching lab.

Can decomposition of those Monterey Pine stumps around campus be sped up?

Photograph cells used in Cell Structure lab.

*Print references in 7301.