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Experiment 3 - The Effects of Ultraviolet Light (UVC) on Bacteria

Research: Research states that ultraviolet light at 254 nanometers (UVC) has the most effective germicidal properties when compared to other wavelengths. Research also states that UVC works in minutes to effectively prevent or reduce the growth of bacteria. Objective: Our objective for this experiment was to quantify the amount of time or duration for UVC light to show a significant reduction in the growth of bacteria. Based on the results from our first experiment, we found a 100% reduction at 15 minutes. For this experiment, we decreased the duration to 1, 2, and 5 minutes. Hypothesis: If bacteria are exposed to UVC light, their growth will be significantly reduced. To prove the hypothesis valid, the bacteria would have a 25% reduction in the number of colonies when compared to the control group. Materials: Petri dishes 4 per surface nutrient agar sterile cotton swabs disposable gloves marker tape timer UV-blocking safety glasses UV light source (254nm) incubator thermometer colony counting grid

Procedure: 1. Prepare Petri dishes with nutrient agar. 2. Use 4 Petri dishes, or plates, for each surface to be tested. 3. Label each plate with the date, type of agar, surface, and UV exposure times of 0 min.(control), 1 min, 2 min., or 5 min. 4. Swab surface and inoculate plates by streaking the contaminated swab across the agar. Remember to use a new swab for each plate. 5. Seal plate labeled control with tape and set aside. This plate does not receive UV. 6. Place the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th inoculated plates 15 inches from the UV light source for 1min., 2 min., and 5 min., respectively. 7. Repeat Steps 3 -6 for each different surface tested. 8. Seal treated plates with tape. 9. Place all inoculated plates in incubator for 48 hours at 93F. 10. Observe, count, and record number of bacterial colonies on each plate every 12 hours. 11. Analyze and graph results. 12. Properly dispose of inoculated plates.

Results: We performed three trials of this experiment and collected bacteria from four different surfaces. We used the same four surfaces for each trial. We counted the colonies and recorded the results every 12 hours. The results from the three trials were averaged and are graphed below.

The data revealed a trend in

the colony counts. After 1


minute of UV treatment, there was an 84- 89% reduction of bacterial colonies, and after 2 minutes, there was a 100% percent reduction. # of Colonies
37

Experiment 3- UVC Irradiation on plates inoculated with bacteria from different surfaces
24 15 11 6 2 3 1 1 min. 0 0 0 0 2 mins. 0 0 0 0 5 mins

Desk

Book

Keyboard

Puzzle

Control

Sample photographs from Trial 1

Conclusion: The data showed a significant reduction in the number of bacterial colonies and supports our hypothesis. Based on these results, we constructed a prototype using the same UVC light source from the experiments. Next, we performed experiments with our prototype to determine its effectiveness.