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Why do they put mint in toothpaste? Would garlic be better?

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Introduction

Why do they put mint in toothpaste? Would garlic be better? In this practical I have to investigate the antibacterial properties of plants. Plants are susceptible to infection by bacteria and fungi; they do everything to repel such attacks. Several plants are known to, pr thought to, destroy and inhibit the growth of certain bacteria. A plant with this property is known as antibacterial. Chemicals in their cells are toxic to bacteria or interfere with their metabolism in some other way. Mint may numb our gums but would garlic be better? In this activity I will investigate whether the two plants contain antibacterial chemicals and their effectiveness by looking at the growth of bacteria on agar plates. Hypothesis I already know from reading in the text book that both garlic and mint have antibacterial properties. I believe that garlic will have a larger inhibition zone than the mint one because garlic is also used as a natural antibiotic and has been said that garlic is approximately one per cent as potent an antibiotic as penicillin. ...read more.

Middle

We then used the sterile forceps to retrieve t he discs and placed each one in the middle of 3 agar plates and marked each one in order to know which is which. 6. The Petri dish was closed and sealed but not completely because this could lead to growth of anaerobic bacteria that can be harmful. 7. The dishes were incubated at 25�C for 24 hours. Safety Methylated spirits are toxic and highly flammable and was handled carefully and kept away from the bunsens. We cleared and cleaned the bench with a disinfectant (virkon). We lit a Bunsen burner so there was an updraft away from the bench. We wash our hands before and after the practical work. We collected all the equipment you would need before we began, making sure glassware, Petri dishes, pipettes, agar, etc. were sterile. We wore goggles We used aseptic techniques such as flaming bottle necks and burning the methylated spirit off a glass spreader to sterilise it. ...read more.

Conclusion

But for obvious reasons such as bad breath, mint is used instead of garlic. Reliability of experiment * I used 3 repeats to calculate my average from and by doing this my average was more accurate and reliable. If I had encountered any results that I thought were anomalous I would not have included them in my averages. Each repeat was also performed using the same method and in the same way therefore any systematic errors were carried forward throughout the experiment meaning all results would be affected by them. * The E.Coli bacterium used would not normally be found in the mouth meaning using this type of bacteria to test toothpaste was unsuitable, although using this type of bacteria in the laboratory was the safest. * When measuring the zone of inhibition on the agar plates (meaning no bacteria had grown there) the zones were not completely circular and therefore it was hard to measure. There were also patches where there was no clear patch and so it was presumed the garlic/mint/control had not touched the bacteria. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

Overall a good basic response to the question. The introduction could have been improved by the methods said below, as could the main body of the text. The conclusion was adequate and showed good scientific depth to the response. To ...

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Response to the question

Overall a good basic response to the question. The introduction could have been improved by the methods said below, as could the main body of the text. The conclusion was adequate and showed good scientific depth to the response. To improve the experiment and their grade, the candidate could include graphs, could suggest improvements to the experiment, and calculate percentage errors for the equipment involved. The candidate could also consider any confounding factors and how they may have affected the experiment and how the candidate would address these.

Level of analysis

Science behind the experiment could be explained more clearly and in a bit more depth. For example by going into the mechanisms what make the plans antibacterial, and how this may affect our gums. The link to our gums is just thrown out there, and not really investigated by the candidate. The safety measures could also be improved by explaining in more depth why each technique was important to the success of the experiment. The conclusion given is adequate and goes into good scientific depth to explain the results found.

Quality of writing

Grammar is incorrect in places and this interrupts the flow of some sentences. Incorrect working is used in some places.


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Reviewed by skatealexia 12/04/2012

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