Easy test(?) for living organisms

sialeck sialeck at globalnet.co.uk
Fri Oct 30 22:43:53 EST 1998

You could always try grinding soil with a mortar and pestle, then wash it
with distilled water.  Filter it, and collect the filtrate.  You can then
get the participants (or an assistant) to place a smear onto an Agar plate,
and incubate it. But this takes between 24 and 72 hours (at least), so you
may have to send them a photo of the growths.  Also, it could be quite
expensive, and is easily contaminated (eg from air).
Still, worth a go.

Robert Aleck

REPLY TO 98281682 at mmu.ac.uk

Martin Weiss wrote in message <3635F47E.4BFD1C3C at nyhallsci.org>...
>For a museum laboratory exercise is there an easy test for living
>organisms? For example, if given a sample of soil what test can I have
>visitors perform to determine if there is anything living in it? This
>would be a possible modeling of a probe to Mars for example to look for
>living organisms.
>Must be SAFE, easy to interpret ie color reaction, and not take more
>than several steps.
>Martin Weiss
>New York Hall of Science

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