Suggest a project idea based on treating acne?

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Help me culture p. acne bacteria?

Postby laurenkim97 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:14 pm

I'm doing a science fair project to test the effectiveness of natural herbs (Thyme, Basil) on acne.
Does anyone have any ideas for how I should test this project? and grow the culture of acne bacteria?
I've never done anything like this before, please help! Thank you!
laurenkim97
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Occupation: STUDENT: 9TH GRADE
Project Question: How effective are natural herbs like thyme, basil, burdock, and red clover on acne?
Project Due Date: December 10, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Suggest a project idea based on treating acne?

Postby laurenkim97 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:20 pm

Hi, I was wondering if someone can give me a project idea based on helping treat/prevent acne.
I was thinking about the effectiveness of natural herbs on the acne bacteria after reading an article about thyme and acne. But I need help forming procedures and how to go around to doing this project.
If you have any other ideas please suggest them!
laurenkim97
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Occupation: STUDENT: 9TH GRADE
Project Question: How effective are natural herbs like thyme, basil, burdock, and red clover on acne?
Project Due Date: December 10, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Project Idea: Treatment of Acne

Postby laurenkim97 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:24 pm

Do you guys have any ideas for science projects based on the treatment of acne?
I read that you have to culture the bacteria, etc. I've never done anything like this before so could you guys give me suggestions on how to conduct my experiment and give me ideas for a project?

I was thinking about testing the effect of natural herbs on acne, after reading an article about how effective thyme is in treating it, but I don't know how to go on testing it and I'm wondering if there's a better idea for it.


Thank you!
laurenkim97
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Occupation: STUDENT: 9TH GRADE
Project Question: How effective are natural herbs like thyme, basil, burdock, and red clover on acne?
Project Due Date: December 10, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Help me culture p. acne bacteria?

Postby donnahardy2 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:32 am

Hi Lauren,

Welcome to Science Buddies! You have a really great project idea because it has an obvious practical application.

Here is a project idea from the Science Buddies website. This project suggests using a laboratory strain of E. coli instead of Proprionibacterium acnes. P acnes is an anaerobic bacterium, which means that it would be more difficult to culture compared to E. coli.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p019.shtml

Propionibacterium acnes is rated as a biosafety level 1 microorganism, so if your high school laboratory is approved for this type of experiment, you should be able to use this organism do the experiment at school, with your teacher’s approval. Here are the rules for doing projects with potentially hazardous biological agents:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ents.shtml

Since you have never done a microbiology project before, you will be learning new techniques. Here is the Science Buddies microbiology techniques and troubleshooting guide:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ques.shtml

You should also check out the history of another successful project on this subject. Some of the pertinent questions about the subject and a few pitfalls are covered in the history of this project:

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=8754&p=34038&hilit=acne#p34059

It’s good that you are starting early, because you will need all of the time available to complete this project. Before you do any lab work, however, be sure and do as much background reading as possible on your subject, using sources from the scientific literature, if possible. Here is the project guide for doing a project:

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ndex.shtml

Why do you want to use natural herbs? What have you found in your reading that makes you think this is a good idea to try?

Let us know if you have more questions.


Donna Hardy
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Re: Help me culture p. acne bacteria?

Postby laurenkim97 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:28 pm

Thank you for the advice!

I read on another source that I could gain p. acne bacteria from a friend who has acne? Not from a whitehead as that has different bacteria. Do you think that there would be too many outside factors that would make the bacteria note purely p.acne?
I also read that if the bacteria starts growing 2 or 3 days later that its not p. acne and I should scrape it off as this bacteria grows fairly slowly.

Natural Herbs/Food/products are becoming a large part of today's society. People are attracted to the aspect of being able to heal problems without using chemicals, etc. I am interested and think that this could become a large industry as time passes.

I also have some skin problems, and know that I have reacted negatively to Benzoyl Peroxide and other harsh chemical skin products.

http://www.crunchybetty.com/thyme-to-co ... s-and-acne
I'm thinking of making infusions of the herbs with Witch Hazel, and testing out the effects of them on the bacteria.
Would I be able to buy E. Coli online? And would the test results that I see directly apply to p. acne bacteria?
Also, I'm going to make a incubator for my bacteria out of a styrofoam cooler and a light to help it grow faster. Do you have any more ideas/suggestions?

Thank you once again!
laurenkim97
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Occupation: STUDENT: 9TH GRADE
Project Question: How effective are natural herbs like thyme, basil, burdock, and red clover on acne?
Project Due Date: December 10, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting

Re: Suggest a project idea based on treating acne?

Postby donnahardy2 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:22 am

Hi,

It would be technically possible to culture P. acnes from a friend; however, for purposes of a science fair project, it would make getting approval much more challenging. Culturing unknown bacteria requires preapproval and access to a BSL-2 laboratory. If you want to try this, you should write up your project proposal and submit it for approval right away. There are lots of unknown microorganisms on human skin and you would have a lot of work to do to verify the identity of P. acnes.
http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... ents.shtml

However, it would be easier to obtain a pure culture of an organism so you can work in a BSL-1 laboratory. Carolina Biologicals sells a garden variety E. coli for classroom use that is easy to grow.

http://www.carolina.com/product/living+ ... estMatches

Micrococcus luteus is another possible organism, and it is a Gram positive bacterium like P. acnes.

http://www.carolina.com/product/living+ ... y=ourPicks

P. acnes is available from the American Type Culture collection, but it prohibitively expensive. It might be possible to obtain a culture from a laboratory that has this organism in their stock culture collection.

http://www.atcc.org/ATCCAdvancedCatalog ... e=bacteria

Your idea of making infusions of the herbs is a good idea. Have you tried searching for the chemical composition of the herbs to identify what components might be effective antimicrobial agents? Since acne is an inflammatory response to the presence of the microorganism, some acne medications are anti-inflammatory compounds and you would not expect to see any effect of these compounds on microbial growth. If a compound works against E. coli, you would not be able to say for sure that it would work against P. acnes.

If you are going use a light bulb as a source of heat for your incubator, you need to make sure that the temperature does not exceed the maximum limit for the microorganism that you are using. It is easy to “cook” bacteria and kill them. The optimum temperature for E. coli is about 37 degrees Centigrade, and the maximum is in the low 40’s degrees C. It would be better to have an incubator that is a little cooler to ensure survival. Be sure to test your incubator and verify that it will maintain a temperature between 30 and 37 degrees C.

What are you going to use as a control? How are you going to measure your results?


Donna Hardy
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Re: Suggest a project idea based on treating acne?

Postby laurenkim97 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:07 pm

Hi Donna,
Sorry i haven't replied to your questions, I've been busy and I have time now during thanksgiving break.

I am planning to base my experiment off of http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... #materials
My three acne medications will be Benzoyl peroxide, and infusions of burdock and witch hazel and basil and witch hazel.

Could you help explain how water is a negative control? And the difference between that and the regular control plates?

I am planning to purchase materials right now from Carolina. I will be purchasing Agar plates, Nutrient Broth, E. Coli bacteria, and Antibiotic Sensitivity Discs.

I will be making my homemade incubator this week.http://quarksandquirks.wordpress.com/20 ... uiry-labs/

I was wondering if there are some ways I can conduct the experiment above without having to buy sterile transfer pipettes. (Also, would regular tweezers sold from a drug store be okay for this experiment?)
On the Carolina website, they only sell those in mass quantities, but I'll only be needing one and will probably only use it for this experiment.
Are there some substitutes I can use?


Thank you so much for your help!
laurenkim97
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:43 pm
Occupation: STUDENT: 9TH GRADE
Project Question: How effective are natural herbs like thyme, basil, burdock, and red clover on acne?
Project Due Date: December 10, 2012
Project Status: I am just starting


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