February 7, 2010

Is your mouth dirtier than a goat's? A dog's?




Miss Hannah Jane has begun her experiment for the 2010 Cache Valley Home Schooler's Science Fair!!!! How exciting! We tossed around a few ideas, all involving growing bacteria for some reason, and decided upon swabbing 3 dogs, 3 goats, and 3 humans to see which species has the most bacteria filled mouth.

I had to hold myself back from insisting on what I felt would be cooler bacteria comparisons, and made sure that this was HER experiment and not mine. Everyone who has asked what we are doing has said, "Well, with Joe for a dad, that sounds just great!" Joe is, for those of you who don't know, a Molecular Biology PhD. This Innocent comment is driving me nuts because they might as well be saying, "We know that you are a science moron, and could never help Hannah Jane with such a great project." Ughh!!! Joe thinks it's hilarious!

Hannah Jane came up with the experiment herself, and with my help she researched what she needed to know and did it. I, of course, did the shopping and the boiling of the agar since she has no debit card and is not tall enough or coordinated enough to work the stove. But she has pretty much done the rest herself!

Last night she prepared her agar recipe and got the plates ready. Today she swabbed all of her subjects. Our friend Barb was kind enough to let us come over and dig around in her dogs' mouths and Steve was there to hold the dogs' mouths open while Hannah Jane did her business. So much fun. This afternoon we prepared our incubator, which seems a little like a fire hazard so I keep obsessively checking it every half hour to make sure it's not over heating, and drug the swabs over the agar plates.

Now we wait. If you want to know how the human mouth holds up to a barnyard animal and man's best friend, pop over to Bridgerland Community College on March 11th and check out the results for yourself. I'm sure there will be lots of cool stuff to check out!

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