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Antimicrobial substances in dandelions??

Asad A. Husain aahusain at prairienet.org
Fri Apr 21 12:11:05 EST 1995

Hello. As a sophomore at University High School in Urbana, Illinois, I 
plan to begin a general microbiology research project and request input 
from anyone based on the ideas and procedures I have developed.  I will 
try to keep this message thorough, yet concise. 
The research I plan to begin next week is to discover whether or not 
dandelions, Taraxacum officinale,Ê carry any antibacterial or antibiotic 

I have already harvested nearly three gallons of dandelions, cleaned 
them, and have separated (a) the roots, (b) the leaves, and (c) the stem 
and bloom. These three parts are intended to be ground up and extracted. 
However, I am not certain as to which solvents, if any, I should try for 
the most pure extract.  I feel it reasonable to attempt a 100% extraction 
for my first batch and see whether or not the freshness of the plant 
itself is enough for decent extracts.

After the extraction is completed, I will prepare separate sensitvity 
disks from the extracts of each part of the dandelion.  Once this is 
done, I hope to prepare approximately 25-30 plates of Escherichia Coli  
in a nutrient agar culture media. I will then place the sensitivity disks 
in the plates and check the cultures at least once every 10-12 hours.  
Recording of all data will be based on which portion of the dandelion 
affects the growth of E. coli, the amount of inhibited E. coli growth, 
and the time period in which the dandelion's distinct antibacterial 
property is confirmed.

Once I feel thorough with the use of E. coli, I intend to extend my 
research on various other bacteria, such as staphylococcus, 
streptococcus, enterobacter aerogenes, etc.  However, until then, I hope 
to successfully complete this round of experiments.

I would like to thank you for your time and hope to receive any comments, 
questions, suggestions, or guidelines.

Asad Husain
1519 Yorkshire Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61821

ahusain at superdec.uni.uiuc.edu   or
aahusain at prairienet.org

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