1887

Integrating Statistics with a Microbiology Laboratory Activity

    Authors: WILLIAM LOROWITZ1,*, ELIZABETH SAXTON1,†, MOHAMMAD SONDOSSI1, KAREN NAKAOKA1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah 84408
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Microbiology, Weber State University, 2506 University Circle, Ogden, UT 84408-2506. Phone: (801) 626-7782. Fax: (801) 626-7445. E-mail: wlorowitz@weber.edu.
    • Present address. Pro Pac Labs, Ogden, UT 84405.
    • Copyright © 2005, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2005 vol. 6 no. 1 14-19. doi:10.1128/154288105X14285806484899
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    Abstract:

    Statistics is an important tool for microbiologists but is virtually absent from undergraduate laboratory activities. The variables in a stringent protocol, the antibiotic disk diffusion assay described by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, were examined by the authors as a means for introducing hypothesis testing and the application of elementary statistical tools. After several experiments, a lab activity was developed where students examine the effect of cell concentration on antibiotic activity and analyze data with the test. They also collect data independently from the same samples and compare their measurements using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The outcome of the activity, including an assessment tool, indicated that students learned the appropriate use of the test and ANOVA, gained an appreciation for standardized protocols, and enjoyed the experience.

References & Citations

1. Gardner PL, Hudson I1999University student’s ability to apply statistical proceduresJ Statistics Educ71[Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/secure/v7n1/gardner.cfm
2. Gnanadesikan M, Scheaffer RL, Watkins AE, Witmer JA1997An activity-based statistics courseJ Statistics Educ52[Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v5n2/gnanadesikan.html
3. Hogg R1992Report of workshop on statistics education Steen LHeeding the call for changeMAA Notes no 22Mathematical Association of AmericaWashington, D.C
4. Lorowitz W, Saxton E, Nakaoka K2005Using a disk diffusion assay to introduce statistical methodsThe American Society for Microbiology’s MicrobeLibrary [Online]. http://www.microbelibrary.org/edzine/Details.asp?id=1863
5. National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards2000Performance standards for antimicrobial susceptibility tests7th edNational Committee for Clinical Laboratory StandardsWayne, Pa
6. Smibert RM, Krieg NR1994Phenotypic characterization607654 Gerhardt P, Murray RGE, Wood WA, Krieg NRMethods for general and molecular biologyAmerican Society for MicrobiologyWashington, D.C
7. Yilmaz MR1996The challenge of teaching statistics to nonspecialistsJ Statistics Educ41[Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v4n1/yilmaz.html
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2005-05-01
2017-06-24

Abstract:

Statistics is an important tool for microbiologists but is virtually absent from undergraduate laboratory activities. The variables in a stringent protocol, the antibiotic disk diffusion assay described by the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, were examined by the authors as a means for introducing hypothesis testing and the application of elementary statistical tools. After several experiments, a lab activity was developed where students examine the effect of cell concentration on antibiotic activity and analyze data with the test. They also collect data independently from the same samples and compare their measurements using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The outcome of the activity, including an assessment tool, indicated that students learned the appropriate use of the test and ANOVA, gained an appreciation for standardized protocols, and enjoyed the experience.

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Figures

Image of FIG. 1

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FIG. 1

Typical student data for diameters of zones of inhibition from gentamicin for cultures adjusted to 0.5 and 1 McFarland standards. Results of the test, performed using Microsoft Excel, indicate that the zones with the greater cell density were significantly smaller than the zones with the less dense culture.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2005 vol. 6 no. 1 14-19. doi:10.1128/154288105X14285806484899
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Image of FIG. 2

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FIG. 2

Typical student data for measurements of the diameters of zones of inhibition from gentamicin for an culture adjusted to a 0.5 McFarland standard, made separately by four different students. ANOVA (using Microsoft Excel) suggests no significant difference between the sets of measurements.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2005 vol. 6 no. 1 14-19. doi:10.1128/154288105X14285806484899
Download as Powerpoint

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