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: [email protected].
    • 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 I 1999 University student’s ability to apply statistical procedures J Statistics Educ 7 1 [Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/secure/v7n1/gardner.cfm
2. Gnanadesikan M, Scheaffer RL, Watkins AE, Witmer JA 1997 An activity-based statistics course J Statistics Educ 5 2 [Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v5n2/gnanadesikan.html
3. Hogg R 1992 Report of workshop on statistics education Steen L Heeding the call for change MAA Notes no 22 Mathematical Association of America Washington, D.C
4. Lorowitz W, Saxton E, Nakaoka K 2005 Using a disk diffusion assay to introduce statistical methods The American Society for Microbiology’s MicrobeLibrary [Online]. http://www.microbelibrary.org/edzine/Details.asp?id=1863
5. National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards 2000 Performance standards for antimicrobial susceptibility tests 7th ed National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards Wayne, Pa
6. Smibert RM, Krieg NR 1994 Phenotypic characterization 607 654 Gerhardt P, Murray RGE, Wood WA, Krieg NR Methods for general and molecular biology American Society for Microbiology Washington, D.C
7. Yilmaz MR 1996 The challenge of teaching statistics to nonspecialists J Statistics Educ 4 1 [Online.] http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v4n1/yilmaz.html

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2005-05-01
2019-09-22

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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