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The effects of Garlic and Mint on bacteria

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Introduction

Garlic and mint Introduction I am going to be trying to find out whether garlic has stronger antibacterial properties than mint. Mint has always been used in toothpaste and I will be trying to find out whether this is just because of the fresh breath it leaves you with or, because of its antibacterial properties. If garlic has stronger antibacterial properties why not put garlic in toothpaste? Plants have always been susceptible to infection by bacteria and fungi. The plants do everything they can to repel such attacks and it is known that several plants have antibacterial properties that could help humans. The cells the plant produce are either toxic to the bacteria or interfere with the bacteria's metabolism in some way. When you clean your teeth you can feel the mint numbing your mouth and gums, this obviously has some effect on bacteria, but would garlic be more effective? Hypothesis I think that garlic will have a greater antibacterial effect than mint. This is because garlic has a stronger flavour and is known to repel some larger organisms like mosquitoes. I think garlic will have a greater antibacterial effect than mint. Plan I plan to make a culture of bacteria on an agar plate. ...read more.

Middle

To do this we will need to sterilise the bench we are working on and have a Bunsen burner set to a blue flame on at all times. Whenever we use a piece of equipment it has to be sterile, if its not already we will have to dip it in the methylated spirits and then put it into the Bunsen flame to sterilise it. When the bacteria pot is open we will flame the neck of the pot and be careful not to put the lid down anywhere. We will then take what bacteria needed, re-flame the neck of the bottle and replace the lid. After we have completed the experiment the bench should be sterilised again. This will prevent any bacterial contamination. All used petri dishes have to be autoclaved to avoid environmental contamination. There are not many ethnical problems with this experiment because the use of bacteria is considered acceptable. Method First we will have to make the bacteria culture. To do this we will have to collect a bottle or test tube containing 15 cm3 of sterile nutrient agar, place the tube into hot water to melt the agar (agar melts at 97 degree C), allowing air to escape. ...read more.

Conclusion

E.coli on the other hand was effected more by garlic, having an inhibition zone of 131.4 mm, where as mint only had an inhibition zone of 119.1 mm. This supports my hypothesis because I thought garlic would have a greater effect due to its effect on insects. This is because the chemical in garlic is more toxic to E.coli than the chemical in mint. In this case garlic would be more effective to have in toothpaste. I think my results are reasonably reliable because I repeated each experiment 4 times and took the mean average, however some of the results are quite far spread. This suggests that my results aren't 100% reliable. There will be a small amount of human error due to measuring the inhibition zones. My results were similar to other students in the class. This supports my statement that my results are reasonably reliable. There are no major anomalies in my results therefore I was able to include all my results in calculating the mean. My results are reasonably accurate. If I had more time I would like to have tested more samples to increase the reliability. I would also have used a more accurate measuring instrument to measure the inhibition zone, removing human error. So my over all conclusion is that mint is most effective at killing bacillus subtilis and garlic is most effective at killing E.coli. Chris Wilde ...read more.

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