I need help

Bryan dbd2 at psu.edu
Sat Mar 18 23:38:02 EST 2000

This thread borders on the unbelievable:  First, a student admits to not having
the knowledge necessary to pursue the project, asks for advice, references, and
all of a sudden, we have Riffi growing bacteria in his/her bedroom under the
guidance of an idiot teacher.

How you all can discern so much from so little baffles me.  The notion that this
cannot be done by a high school student in a safe manner appalls me.  I think if
we could refer a student to a knowledgeable person at the university level or in
microbial QC in industry, we could assure that safe practices could be followed.
No-one said anything about taking media home (unless you include the potato

I think a warning about the problems one can encounter when growing isolates
from an environment, pathogenicity and sheer numbers on the plate is advisable,
but to call the student an "ignorant kid"  and potentially frighten them off
what could be an interesting project, much less from approaching this
"knowledgeable" NG source for advice is a big mistake.

Simply put,

Hey Rif,

1)  Because of inherent dangers of some microorganisms, perhaps you should
contact someone at the Univ. level to guide you through the project.  Some Univ.
folks still consider themselves educators and would be glad to help you develop
your project.

2) Like they say on TV; Don't try this at home.

3) You interest in microbiology can be very rewarding as bacteria are the
dominant, most diverse form of life on the planet.

4) Ignore those few ignoramuses that discourage your interests; while there are
dangers in dealing with bacteria, fungi, these can be overcome in the proper
setting; some folks just want to protect their knowledge base.  Like voodoo
priests; they fear teaching you will steal their power.


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