Use and Care of Microorganisms
- This area of science, may involve many dangers and hazards while experimenting. It is the sole responsibility of all teacher(s)/sponsor(s) to teach students proper safety methods and sterile techniques.
- The Illinois Junior Academy of Science prohibits the use of primary or secondary cultures taken from humans or other warm-blooded animals in any project because of the danger from unknown viruses or other disease-causing agents that may be present. Pure cultures of microorganisms known to inhabit warm-blooded animals may be obtained from reputable suppliers and used in proper settings.
- Microorganism experimentation MUST be conducted in a laboratory setting.
- A primary culture is one taken from a vertebrate animal, living or dead. For example, a culture may therefore NOT be taken from a mouth, throat, skin, hamburger, meat, chicken, or fish.
- A secondary culture is a culture taken from an object that has come in contact with a vertebrate animal. For example, a culture may NOT be taken from eating utensils, door knobs, toilets, countertops, milk, eggs, etc.
- Projects involving viruses and recombinant DNA projects should be done with the help of a professional and should comply with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines unless the project is limited to a kit obtained from a legitimate supply house.
- All cultures should be destroyed by methods such as, autoclaving or with a suitable NaOCl (bleach) solution before disposal.
- For information on “Micro-Organisms for Education”, visit