Thursday, August 18, 2011

MSI: Bottled Water Bacterial Counts

The Marine Science Interns headed back into the microbiology lab this morning to complete bacteria counts. They filtered each water sample and then, using microscopy and a DAPI bathing solution, compared bacteria counts across different drinking waters. Since their last visit, the interns added three new samples to their experiment- Highland Springs bottled water, filtered rainwater and water from a personal water bottle with a built-in filter. The interns were greeted with alarming results as one of the bottled water samples contained more bacteria specimens per liter than samples of sea-water collected around Bermuda.

Microscopic shot of the water sample with the greatest bacterial density

Microscopic shot of the water sample with the least bacterial density

Miles Cave, one of the interns, reported that, "Today I learned about microbes that live in water such as bacteria and viruses. We got several different bottled water brands to see how many microbes were living inside of them. It was very interesting to see how the scientists in the lab filter the microbes from the water by using specialized equipment and also how these bacteria look under a microscope. It was also a little disturbing to see how much bacteria there was in some water brands."

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