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ok so I am slightly worrying right now because I have an idea for a bio ee but have no clue how to approach it. My idea is to determine the efficiency of different sanitization techniques, kind of like developing a bacteria culture and exposing it to some sanitizing agents like bleach to see the results, but i am clueless on how to phrase it and on what exactly I am supposed to be analyzing and comparing.  Anyone have any ideas to help?

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I did a very similar EE in Bio.

Firstly I'd say choose the bacteria you want to test it on - depends on which ones are available and if you can do it e.g. at school lab/uni and then look for what exactly you want to check influence of. Think how many variable you want to have i.e. how many bacterial strains and how many substances to check. Generally best to focus on 1 bacterial strai unless you want to compare them as well - like either they are very similar to each other e.g. from the same genus so that you can conclude if your results might be correct for the whole genus (maybe, based on two strains) or only for one strain OR if you want to compare completely different bacteria - like gram-positive and gram-negative, to again be able to suggest if it can be suitable only for gram-posiitve/gram-negative or both - this is good as you can link it to their differing structure etc. if there are differences in the activity of the substances.

You can phrase the RQ simply like this: How does the [what you're checking] influence the growth/inhibits the growth of bacteria [the type of bacteria]? or something similar.

As to the experiment itself, you can do it in two ways (or way more actually, but these are the ones I know something of). I'm not sure which one would be more suitable to your topic though because it depends on the activity of these substances. The ways you can do it are:

1. culturing the bacteria firstly on agar plates with discs in which you put your substance in - I'm not sure if it is suitable to your experiment as I think the substances like bleach might be too strong for that, it's commonly used for investigating the susceptibility to medications and I personally used this method

2. if you're talking more about things like hand sanitizers/surface sanitizers (probably more like this one) - you could also 'kind of' collect the bacteria from a surface with the use of different substances, so e.g. you would use sanitizer A on a table surface and then collect the bacteria and put them on the agar plate (I think, I'm not exactly sure how this one works), the same for sanitizer B etc. and control and then check the differences

Hope this helps :) If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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@ChocolateAndVanilla

thank you so much, I now understand what I am to do. I was having this problem because in my school we hadn't been taught to culture bacteria as yet or the negatives and advantages of these techniques, nor about the activity of bacteria with different substances, I am going to look more into it now and come up with the best possible method. Thank you so much. Also, do you know which topic in the IB bio syllabus speaks on sanitation techniques, I cannot seem to find it.

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5 hours ago, ibkid_204 said:

@ChocolateAndVanilla

thank you so much, I now understand what I am to do. I was having this problem because in my school we hadn't been taught to culture bacteria as yet or the negatives and advantages of these techniques, nor about the activity of bacteria with different substances, I am going to look more into it now and come up with the best possible method. Thank you so much. Also, do you know which topic in the IB bio syllabus speaks on sanitation techniques, I cannot seem to find it.

Hmm I don't think there is any topic that speaks about sanitation techniques, nor anything about culturing bacteria, I came up with this on my own and researched on my own, wasn't taught this at classes.

But that's not a problem, the EE diesn't have to be based on a topic of the syllabus (and usually is not), just have a read in some online sources about these culturing techniques and different sanitation techniques and you can always ask your teacher (they should probably know something to help you with it even if it's not o the syllabus).

Good luck :)

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1 hour ago, ChocolateAndVanilla said:

Hmm I don't think there is any topic that speaks about sanitation techniques, nor anything about culturing bacteria, I came up with this on my own and researched on my own, wasn't taught this at classes.

But that's not a problem, the EE diesn't have to be based on a topic of the syllabus (and usually is not), just have a read in some online sources about these culturing techniques and different sanitation techniques and you can always ask your teacher (they should probably know something to help you with it even if it's not o the syllabus).

Good luck :)

thank you you have been extremely helpful, thanks so much.

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