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3.1: Myth of Spontaneous Generation

  • Page ID
    90979
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    Materials

    Student Preparation of TSB Medium

    • TSB medium powder
    • stir plates (1 per group)
    • magnetic stir bars (1 per group)
    • 50 or 100 mL graduated cylinders (1 per group)
    • 250 mL or 300 mL beakers for making TSB medium (1 per group)
    • balances
    • weigh papers or boats
    • weigh utensils
    • distilled or deionized water

    Re-creation of Spallanzani's Experiment

    • test tube racks (1 per group)
    • test tubes (2 per group)
    • test tube caps (1 per group)
    • 5 mL or 10 mL pipet (1 per group)
    • pipet bulbs or pipet pumps (1 per group)
    • 10-20 mL student-prepared TSB (before autoclaving)
    • labeling tape and markers

    Re-creation of Pasteur's Experiment

    • 125 mL Erlenmeyer flasks (2 per group)
    • neoprene stoppers with one hole, size 5 (2 per group)
    • 5 mm flint glass tubing, prepped as straight glass tubes (1 per group)
    • 5 mm flint glass tubing, prepped as swan-neck glass tubes (1 per group)
    • 50 mL or 100 mL graduated cylinder (1 per group)
    • 100 mL student-prepared TSB (before autoclaving)
    • labeling tape and markers

    Preparations

    Re-creation of Pasteur's Experiment

    Straight Glass Tubes

    1. Wear safety goggles.
    2. Use a file to score around the flint glass tubing to cut lengths of glass tubing about 6-8 cm in length.
    3. Put on protective gloves (not lab gloves; use thicker gloves such as gardening gloves or autoclave gloves).
    4. Snap the tubing at the score site.
    5. Repeat until you have enough straight-glass tubes for class (1 per group).

    Swan-Neck Tubes

    1. Wear safety goggles.
    2. Use a file to score around the flint glass tubing to cut lengths of glass tubing about 20-25 cm in length.
    3. Put on protective gloves (not lab gloves; use thicker gloves such as gardening gloves or autoclave gloves).
    4. Snap the tubing at the score site.
    5. Use a Bunsen burner to heat the glass tube to bend the tube into a swan-neck shape. This will require you to heat the glass tube at two different locations where one site is bent downward and the other site is bent upward. Make sure that there is enough of a straight section before the swan-neck curves so the straight section can pass through the one-hole neoprene stopper.
    6. Repeat until you have enough swan-neck glass tubes for class (1 per group).

    Put Glass Tubes through Stoppers

    1. Carefully push a straight glass tube through the hole in one of the neoprene stoppers.
    2. Carefully push the straight region of the swan-neck class tube through the hole in one of the neoprene stoppers.
    3. Repeat for each group.

    After Lab Class

    1. Autoclave the test tubes and flasks prepared by students for the Spallanzani and Pasteur experiment re-creations.
    2. Incubate the test tubes and flasks prepared by students for the Spallanzani and Pasteur experiment re-creations in a 30°C or 37°C incubator or leave out on a bench.
    3. When growth is observed in the uncovered test tube from the Spallanzani experiment have students examine results from the Spallanzani experiment re-creation.
    4. When growth is observed in the flask with the straight glass tube from the Pasteur experiment have students examine results from the Pasteur experiment re-creation.

    This page titled 3.1: Myth of Spontaneous Generation is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rosanna Hartline.

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