Ionizing Chemical Bonds of Bacteria Using X-Ray Imaging

The standards of X-Ray safety are unknown to the majority of the population.  Using X-Rays the researchers tested whether the growth of Escherichia coli could resist the ionization of the radiation.  Based on the results of the experiment the researchers can conclude which factors, namely the amount of exposures, the charge of the X-ray machine, or the shielding provided, will influence the amount of radiation that reaches the patient  the greatest. These factors were chosen because they corresponded with modern safety procedures used in a standard medical facility when operating X-Ray imaging technology.  This information is important for the general public to understand how X-rays affect their health during routine medical checkups. 

A non-virulent strain of E. coli was inoculated and placed onto a petri dish.  Then, the petri dish was irradiated by X-Rays. Several factors, such as the electrical charge of the machine, amount of exposures, and the shielding, were altered in order to determine which factor inhibited the growth of the colonies the most.  The E. coli was then placed into an incubator to grow for 24 hours.  It was found that none of the three factors, electrical charge, amount of exposures or lead shielding, were statistically significant. There was, however, a distinct change in the observable phenotypic structure of E. coli colonies exposed to X-rays.  This can lead to the conclusion that electric charge of the X-ray machine, number of exposures and shielding is not significant when E. coli is exposed to radiation in small quantities. However, there was a slight observable interaction between the X-rays and the E. coli meaning that the X-rays were still reaching the E. coli.

Research Conducted By:

John Estapa
Saint Clair High School

Sam Tracy
Saint Clair High School