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Death Rays: What Duration of Ultraviolet Exposure Kills Bacteria?

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In this Science Buddies science project, you will observe the effects of short-term ultraviolet light exposure on bacteria. You can customize this experiment to include the nutrient agar plates, living K-12 E. coli, a glass spreader, and other supplies.

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Ultraviolet light can damage DNA molecules. If a cell's DNA repair mechanisms can't keep up with the damage, mutations are the result. As harmful mutations accumulate, the cell eventually dies. How much ultraviolet light is too much for a bacterial cell?

View the full project, background information, procedures, and more at ScienceBuddies.com




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