Home bacterial incubator.

David L. Haviland, Ph.D. dhavilan at IMM2.IMM.UTH.TMC.EDU
Thu May 1 16:25:50 EST 1997

At 15:02 5/1/97 -0600, Farida Safadi-Chamberlain wrote:

>Be very careful with the size of the box and the 25W lamp, a lamp in a box
>has caused the box to heat and catch fire in a very similar incident.

Thanks for the warning but I would hope that some form of common sense
would prevail for those wishing to construct a makeshift incubator!  ;-)

If it were something to be used continually, it would be best made of light
wood, with appropriate (per code) wiring and insulation.  For a "quickie",
a standard desk lamp with a low wattage bulb that would be completely
covered, without contact, by a medium sized box with only the unsulated
cord running under the box.  Just something to give off a little heat,
heck, even a 15W would do...


p.s. Hey Paul!  I too did that experiment with Serratia (taught it too!)..
However, we didn't use gloves.  We made sure our palms were moist with
distilled water and each student was given a piece of candy to firmly rub
into the palm of the shaking hand.  Only one was laced with the ever red
Serratia.  Then, unknown, even to the TA of the lab, students were told to
shake hands (firmly) with other students.  After a certain number, all had
to rewet their hands with water and swab their palms onto LB (sans
antbiotics).  It is an interesting excercise to do and gives one the feel
of what epidemiologists are up against!

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