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Interdisciplinary research brought to school - Connecting chemistry and biology through nanotechnology
Kampschulte, L., Akaygün, S., Adadan, E., Eilert, K., Heyduck, B.

Interdisciplinary research brought to school - Connecting chemistry and biology through nanotechnology

Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 19(1), 1-3. DOI: 10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1400, Open Access

Nanoscience is a cutting edge and highly interdisciplinary field of research. The experiment presented here is a good example of bringing this interdisciplinary research to school by working with biological and chemical methods. Students first synthesize silver nanoparticles and then test them for their antimicrobial effect in a yeast culture. By observing the yeast growth and the nanosilver-induced suppression over 72 hours, students not only learn about nanoscience but also get an insight into research methods commonly used in the field of toxicology – which is highly relevant for the risk assessment of nanomaterials. Further, attention was given to develop a teaching unit that has close connections to real research, i.e. highlighting typical features of current research like interdisciplinarity, but also standard research procedures like multiple measurements and systematic test analysis to gain more reliable results. Detailed illustrated instructions for all parts of the experiment are included in the Appendix, as well as a brief background on nanosilver, an Excel sheet for the test evaluation and the description of a setup to take time-lapse videos of the experiment.