Idea Bank: Got Milk? Do Biochemistryby: Michael Hanophy

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Bacteria are very useful for introducing high school students to biochemical processes in the cell, including the hydrolysis of nutrients, the production of waste products, and changes in pH. All of this can be demonstrated to students using simple microbiological media made from a familiar material— milk.

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  • on Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:41 PM

Fermented milk products have contributed to human nutrition since the our ancestors began herding. These simple experiments will demonstrate the use of bacteria in milk fermentation. In addition to teaching simple microbiology, these experiements afford numerous connections to history, nutrition and chemistry.

Pamela A  (, )
Pamela A (, )

  • on Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:54 AM

Fermentation of lactose, hydrolysis of casein, deamination of proteins, litmus reduction, are all possible for students to do and understand using milk as a means to learn about naturally occurring biochemical reactions. A brief explanation of how each is done is provided in this article. However, this would probably be done in an AP chemistry class after the basics of chemistry are understood.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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