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Biol0135 Lab Manual Essay

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BIOL0135 Introductory Microbiology Laboratory Session 1 How many microbes on the HKU campus?
Note: You will need to return to the lab and check your results 48 hours after the class. Introduction Microorganisms are ubiquitous and perform critical roles in maintaining the natural environment. They are also key in urban areas in terms of public health and deterioration of buildings and landscapes. You will estimate numbers of bacteria and fungi from the various microbial habitats on the HKU campus. A list of suitable natural or man-made locations will be given to you by the demonstrators, or you can choose your own (but for safety and professional courtesy reasons please avoid the food and beverage establishments and health-care facilities). Your goal as a class is to estimate the number of microbes per gram, cm2 or ml of a given substrate on the campus – e.g. if you obtain an estimate of 10,000 bacteria/ml of pond water, how many bacterial cells do you estimate in all the pond water on campus? (these will be rough estimates based on ‘guess-timates’ of habitat size, but this will be useful in that it will illustrate to you the sheer number of microbes that probably exist on the HKU campus). It is up to you to create a means of making these ‘rough’ calculations. Some suggested sampling locations are: Biofilm in small drainage channels Door handles / lift buttons Furniture Soil in flower beds Sun Yat Sen pond Tap water / water fountain HAZARD ASSESSMENT: You must take responsibility to evaluate the hazard associated with sampling any location. Please be sensible and DO NOT attempt to enter any dangerous locations such as storm-water drains, steep slopes, climbing trees or any area that is likely to harbour human pathogens (e.g. a toilet). Do not lean over ponds or other hazardous locations. You should work in groups of 4 persons, try to ensure all group members have a chance to actively participate. The first phase of the experiment will not take the full allotted...

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