Getting the right samples is crucial to all lab experiments and tests. Without the right ways of collecting samples, the obtained data can deliver skewed results. There are two ways to have the right samples- the expertise of the technician and using the right equipment.
Some tests are fairly simple and have standard procedures that need to be followed. Others require due diligence and top-quality equipment. One such lab equipment that’s crucial is the Petri dish. In this article, we shall try and explore everything about Petri dishes in Biology.
What are they, what’s their importance, and what are some ways that Petri dishes are used in a lab?
What’s a petri dish?
Petri dishes are commonly used to study microorganisms in laboratories. It’s a shallow round glass that’s cylindrical in shape, particularly important to growing cultures of cells, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
These dishes can also have other uses, such as evaporating liquids to get the residue. Sometimes even to experiment with what gets left behind after evaporating certain liquids.
While there surely are different uses to this apparatus, you need to have top-quality dishes to avoid and contamination of the sample. Now that we understand what a petri dish is, here are a few ways that it is used in the labs:
Amongst the most common uses of the petri dish is to use it for growing culture. What this means is that a small number of microorganisms are placed on the dish and then left there to grow. This is for microbiologists to find out how the organisms grow and react is various situations.
Once the culture studies, researchers can then take suitable actions. In recent times, we can see that researchers are testing the viruses and then coming up with answers as to how the Coronavirus behaves and what can be done about it.
Petri dishes are important to get all these answers and more about different microorganisms, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. (Zhang, 2004)
Analyzing components of different substances
Knowing more about our environment, food and nature is essential. Petri dishes play an important role in allowing us to know about all these things. For instance, you can get a food substance checked from the lab and see all the nutrients it has to offer.
You may even want to know more about a certain plat or microorganisms on the plant and get the information extracted. Only with the help of petri dishes because that’s where the samples get tested.
Petri dishes are an important component of medical labs. One prime purpose where they are used is to analyze samples and detect any diseases a person might have. For instance, blood samples are collected and assessed on these dishes. Urinary samples are also analyzed here to see if a person’s urinary tract is healthy or do they have any UTI.
Feasibility of using the Petri dishes
Petri dishes are fairly easy to use. They are reusable, and the good quality ones can last for a long time. However, you need to ensure that they are sterilized properly before using them for other purposes.
At times, scientists and researchers may test harmful bacteria and viruses on these dishes. Even the smallest residue of these organisms can contaminate your next sample. Ensure that you follow the right procedures to clean the dishes.
A Petri dish is an important lab apparatus. Always get high-quality lab equipment, including Petri dishes, so that you can always deal with the samples accurately. Substandard apparatus can cause contamination and can ruin studies and results.
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Zhang. (2004). Beyond the Petri dish. Nature Biotechnology, 151-152.