Ubiquity of Microorganisms

During this lab exercise, you have an opportunity to see some places bacteria and fungi live. You may also be surprised to discover some places they don't live. Use your imagination when determining where to collect your sample. Do you think you will find more bacteria on the sole of your shoe, on your lip balm, on the water fountain, on the public telephone, or on the bathroom floor?  The answers may surprise you! Go investigate!

In this exercise, you will use two Nutrient Agar plates, sterile saline, and sterile cotton swabs. You will dip your swab in saline, rub it across your chosen surface, and then use the swab to streak your plate. In the next class, after the plates have incubated, you will look to see what kind of organisms have grown on your plate.  Your instructor may also ask you to inoculate your plates by breathing on them, leaving them open to the air, touching them with your fingers, or by using another method.