The Effect of Peppermint Oil on the Growth of Bacillus Cereu

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The Effect of Peppermint Oil on the Growth of Bacillus Cereu

Postby Meli1795 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:33 am

My partner, Kevin Juscamayta, and I are creating an experiment to determine whether the oil extracted from peppermint herbs can be used to inhibit the growth of Bacillus Cereus, which know causes food poisoning. We are really interested in learning the effects of peppermint oil on Bacillus Cereus to create a home cure instead of using antibiotics to fight the disease becuase many researches have shown that bacteria are growing resistant to antibiotics. However we have many concerns on whether this bacteria is safe to culture at our schools laboratory. We would like to ask you if you would be willing to assist and guide us throughout the procedure of our experiment? We need a mentor that will guide us through our project. Your assistance would highly be appreciated. We hope to hear back from you and we appreciate you taking your time to read our post.
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Re: The Effect of Peppermint Oil on the Growth of Bacillus C

Postby heatherL » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:12 am

Hi Meli1795,

What a great project you have! It seems well thought-out and has clear relevance to people.

I just posted a reply on your partner Kevin's post:

It sounds like you have a good idea of where your project is going, and it will be helpful for you to have a mentor guiding you.

Here are some tips from Science Buddies about how to find a mentor: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... tors.shtml

The professors at UC Berkeley have a lot going on (especially at this time of year) and may not have had time to respond to you yet. Have you tried contacting other universities (e.g., San Jose State, Santa Clara University) or community colleges in the Bay area? Often the professors at the teaching-focused colleges are given a little more time for mentorship activities. Try broadening your search to find a mentor.

If you are still unable to find a suitable mentor, did you consider whether it is possible to do your experiment with E. coli instead of Bacillus cereus?


From your post, I understand that you are interested in working with Bacillus cereus because it is known to cause food poisoning. However, that is also the reason that its use is restricted in many science fairs. I really think that you can do the same project with E. coli (for which some non-laboratory strains can also cause food poisoning) and still consider your results to be relevant.

Looking at the antibacterial properties of peppermint is an excellent idea, and it can be carried out with E. coli, which can be cultured in a high school laboratory.

This Science Buddies project will help you with the procedure: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p014.shtml

Here is some safety information about working with microorganisms: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... fety.shtml

Here are details regarding the use of agar, the material used to culture bacteria: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... Agar.shtml

Good luck, and please post again (in this same thread) if you have more questions!

Heather
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