One of my awesome students, ZD, volunteered to have the microorganisms (a living thing too small to be seen with the naked eye) on his hands cultured (placing an microorganism on a nutritive plate to encourage its growth). We allowed the growth of the microbial colony for one week and wow...the amazing microscopic world of God's creation.
I'm not a microbiologist, but I'm thinking the pictures you see below are Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria which live on our skin. This "germ" is the culprit for a myriad of minor skin infections including, but not limited to, pimples, impetigo, boils, cellulitis folliculitis, furuncles, carbuncles, scalded skin syndrome and abscesses to life threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, osteomyelitis endocarditis, Toxic shock syndrome (TSS), and septicemia (Information from Wikipedia).
You may have heard about MRSA or the "Superbug" on the news. This virulent strain of S. aureus, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, resists traditional antibiotics and is difficult to cure concerning those in the medical field. As a former infection control nurse, it was my responsibility to monitor this type of infection and insure proper handling of it to prevent spread to others.
But what can we do to protect ourselves?
#1. Do as your mother said and wash your hands. Hand washing is the most effective way of dealing with this little culprit.
#2. Follow your doctor's instructions in taking antibiotics. Always complete the course of treatment. By only taking enough antibiotics to make you feel better, you risk only decreasing the bacterial population. The bacteria that remain have ways of "learning to" resist the antibiotic in the future.
#3. If it's wet and it's not yours, don't touch it! I learned this humorous statement in nursing school and it has stuck. It was drilled in our heads to WEAR GLOVES in this type of situation.
Magnified 600x with methylene blue stain applied
A huge thank you to Mrs. Knowles for allowing our class to borrow her cool microscope with a camera!!!
Also, thanks New Creation biology class for your co-operation and interest. We're going to have an awesome year learning about God's creation!!!!