© The McGraw−Hill Companies, 2002
Take interest, I implore you, in those sacred dwellings which one designates by the expressive term: laboratories. Demand that they be multiplied, that they be adorned. These are the temples of the future—temples of well-being and of happiness. There it is that humanity grows greater, stronger, better. Louis Pasteur (French chemist, founder of microbiology, 1822–1895)
There are many excellent microbiology laboratory manuals on the market and many others that are called “in-house” productions because they are written for a microbiology course at a particular school. Why another microbiology manual? The answer is straightforward. Many instructors want a manual that is directly correlated with a specific textbook. As a result, this laboratory manual was designed and written to be used in conjunction with the textbook Microbiology, fifth edition, by Lansing M. Prescott, John P. Harley, and Donald A. Klein; however, it can be used with other textbooks with slight adaptation. Since this manual correlates many of the microbiological concepts in the textbook with the various exercises, comprehensive introductory material is not given at the beginning of each exercise. Instead, just enough specific explanation is given to complement, augment, reinforce, and enhance what is in the textbook. We feel that time allocation is an important aspect of any microbiology course. Students should not be required to reread in the laboratory manual an in-depth presentation of material that has already been covered satisfactorily in the textbook. Each exercise has been designed to be modular and short. This will allow the instructor to pick and choose only those exercises or parts of exercises that are applicable to a specific course. Several exercises usually can be completed in a two- or threehour laboratory period. The exercises have also been designed to use commonly available equipment, with the least expense involved, and to be completed in the shortest possible time period. Considering the above parameters, the purpose of this laboratory manual is to guide students through a process of development of microbiological technique, experimentation, interpretation of data, and discovery
in a manner that will complement the textbook and make the study of microbiology both exciting and challenging. According to an old Chinese proverb: Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I might remember. Involve me and I will understand. These words convey our basic philosophy that it is experiences in the microbiology laboratory and the scientific method that help develop students’ critical thinking and creativity and that increase their appreciation of the mechanisms by which microbiologists analyze information. The laboratory accomplishes this by having students become intensely and personally involved in the knowledge they acquire. The array of exercises was chosen to illustrate the basic concepts of general microbiology as a whole and of the individual applied fields. The protocols vary in content and complexity, providing the instructor with flexibility to mold the laboratory syllabus to the particular needs of the students, available time and equipment, and confines and scope of the course. Furthermore, it provides a wide spectrum of individual exercises suitable for students in elementary and advanced general microbiology as well as those in various allied health programs. In 1997, the American Society for Microbiology, through its Office of Education and Training, adopted a Laboratory Core Curriculum representing themes and topics considered essential to teach in every introductory microbiology laboratory, regardless of its emphasis. An instructor might add items appropriate to allied health, applied, environmental, or majors microbiology courses. The Laboratory Core is not meant to be a syllabus or...