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Graphing bacterial growth rates: semi-log graphs v linear graphs

Author(s): Adam Marschall Jaros1, Adronisha Frazier2, Beth Alford2, Brandy Williams2

1. Lansing Community College 2. Northshore Technical Community College

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In this activity, students will explore the concept of binary fission, generation time, and bacterial growth curves, with an emphasis on the log phase. Students will use semi-log graphs and linear graphs to plot bacterial cell growth.


There is a description of the lesson that includes learning outcomes.  This activity includes instructor guides, learning outcomes, student handouts, graphic organizers, and answer keys. There are two worksheets, one targeted to math students and the other targeted to biology/science students.  Each worksheet is complemented with corresponding answer keys for faculty.  There is background information, links to additional/supplemental information, teaching tips and a breakdown of the vocabulary differences between the math and biology classroom provided in the answer key handouts.  Also, a link is provided to an original paper (Journal of Bacteriology, 1935) where bacterial growth rates were determined experimentally.



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