Results of Spontaneous Generation Experiment

experiment set up 29 June 1999--final observations made 8 July 1999
  1. My experiment consisted of 75 mL beef broth in a flask, boiled for four minutes.  A stopper with glass tubing was inserted into the flask.  The tubing was heated and bent in two places to act as a catcher for the bacteria that might enter from the air. It sat at room temperature for a week.  At the end of the experiment the broth had cloudy matter in the bottom and smelled spoiled.
  2. I put about 75 mL of beef broth in my flask. I used a straight, short piece of glass tubing in my stopper and did not boil the soup at all.  The broth has lightened up considerably in color and has developed an off-white, scaly scum on the surface.  White sediment is forming in the bottom of the flask and a foul odor had developed.
  3. I put 100 mL of chicken soup in my flask.  Then I boiled it for 6 minutes with a large Fisher burner.  After I let it cool down a little I put the stopper on it.  The glass tube in the stopper was straight, but closed off at the end.  This soup developed about a quarter inch of white scum on top and had a bad smell.
  4. My observations have been obtained from someone else doing the experiment.  I have observed 2 flasks, one of plain chicken broth and the other of 1/2 chicken and 1/2 beef broth.  There are 100 mL of broth in each flask.  In flask 1 the broth was corked with a rubber stopper and bent glass tube and boiled for 1/2 hour in a double boiler.  I observed the liquid in the flask to be cloudy with no odor.  In flask 2, which is the half and half mixture the top was opened to the air with no cork.  It was not boiled.  My observation of the liquid is it smells bad with scum-mold floating on top.  It's cloudy with sediment on the bottom.  Because of the smell and of the growing mold I am assuming there are definite bacteria in this flask.
  5. 100 mL of beef broth was placed into the flask and capped with the glass curved tube open.  The broth was brought to a boil [over a Fisher burner] and left in the boil for one minute.  The flask was set aside and remains clear and dark as on the day it was boiled.  Removing the stopper, the broth has a strong beef smell.  It does not smell spoiled at all.
  6. I put 100 mL of beef broth in my flask.  I also made my glass very curvy.  I did not boil my flask, but I did put a cotton ball on the end of the glass.  My flask has become very cloudy with bacteria, and smells bad.
  7. ? mL of chicken soup was put in a flask.  A stopper with a long bent piece of glass was added.  This solution was then boiled by a Fisher burner for 6 minutes.  At the end of our experiment, the soup looked the same as it did when we first poured it in.  No bacteria had formed at all.
  8. My observations from the experiment done on June 29, 1999 were from someone else doing the experiment.  One flask had 100 mL of beef soup left over.  This flask had a cork on it and was put into the fridge.  The soup was very dark, smelled like soup, and really did not appear to have any bacteria growing.  Two other flasks which were left over both had 50 mL, one beef and one chicken.  both had one-hole corks on then and they sat out in room temperature.  After a week both turned cloudy, both had sediment on the bottom both had a bad odor.
  9. I put 100 mL of soup in my flask, and boiled it for 5 min.  I did not cover it up for the 5 min.  Afterwards I topped it with a stopper containing [glass with] cotton and three curves.  My results were not very different in color, white stuff making it cloudy and oil on top of the soup.
  10. I put 100 mL of beef broth in my flask.  I made my glass tube have three curves to it, putting cotton in the glass tube before boiling it for 5 min. without the stopper, then inserting the stopper after boiling it.  My flask of beef broth has formed some form of white stuff on the bottom of the flask.
  11. I put 75 mL of chicken broth in my flask and 25 mL of water.  My glass was curved in two places.  It was boiled for 5 minutes. My flask of chicken broth has become cloudy with bacteria forming at the bottom.
  12. I put 75 mL of chicken broth in my flask.  I made my glass have two curves.  I did not boil my flask.  My flask has become very cloudy with bacteria, and smells very bad.  The color is orange now.