Biotechnology and microbes

Biotechnology and microbiology offer an opportunity to undertake practical investigations. However, culturing microbes in the school laboratory is sometimes seen as risky. This list includes information that introduces students to biotechnology and includes suggestions for practical activities.

Students often think of microbes as solely being harmful and pathogenic. The activities will help to illustrate that many microbes do not cause harm to humans and indeed can be used to make useful products.

The final two resources in the list are aimed at teachers and technicians. They look at the techniques needed to maintain cultures without introducing contamination and link to a web site that addresses safety concerns. By using these links, it is hoped that teachers will be encouraged to undertake microbiology practical work.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.