Key researchers from the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases went back to school yesterday with Dr Carina Ecremen Marshall, CSIRO Scientists in Schools. Carina arranged for Dr Alfred Tay and Dr Mary Webberley to visit middle and high school students at the Beehive Montessori School in Mosman Park to do biochemistry and microbiology experiments.
Alfred and Mary demonstrated the urease pH effect of H.pylori - the world's most high profile bacterium. They described H pylori’s adaptations to the acidic environment of the stomach and talked about the biochemical reactions between urease and the stomach acid. The researchers used soy beans (high urease content) on a urea-agar-phenol red plate to show how the dianostic test for H pylori works and why.
Students then used a variety of pH indicators (red cabbage, phenol red, bromphenol blue, test strips) to experiment with a variety of substances around the school, and the agar plates to test for urease in various bacteria rich environments (pond water, chicken poo, fish tank water).
For information about the CSIRO Scientists in Schools program, contact Carina Ecremen Marshall
For information about the Marshall Centre for Infectious Diseases, contact Josephine Muir