Nick, Max Conner and Edward present their project about e.coli and lytic proteins.
Hi, we are the Cows that go Moooooo….. We have been studying e.coli in milk. To help our research, we visited Bivalve Organic Dairy, where we met some cows and saw the milking and storage process. We also visited Straus Organic Creamery, where we met with Ian-Hero, quality assurance molecular biologist for Straus milks. We discovered that Dr. Paul Jackson of Lawrence Livermore Labs has made a very exciting new discovery in combatting e.coli and other bacteria, and for our innovative solution we are injecting lytic proteins into the milk at the Dairy. We are excited to have shared our solution with white hill school and experts at Clover Dairies, Straus Creamery and Lawrence Livermore Labs.
We are going to do a short skit to show you what we have learned.
Players: victim – drinks unpasteurized milk – Nick
Narrator – Edward
Farmer John Taylor of Bivalve Dairy – Conner
Cow – Edward
Dr. Paul Jackson – Max
Molecular Biologist – Ian of Straus Milk – Nick
Farmer John(conner) is milking the cow, and passes a glass of milk to the victim. The narrator comes along and says “if you drink milk straight from the cow then this raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, or even E. coli! The symptoms of e-coli are, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and death.” (after acting out the rest of the symptoms, in response to the last symptom shouts) WHAT!?
Farmer John(conner) says “I have found that I can minimize the risk of these bacteria by keeping the cows clean. Before I hook them up to the milking machine I hand milk them a little and observe the color of the milk. If it’s watery then the cow is sick. I also sterilize the udders with iodine just before milking. It gets stored in a cooling tank until it’s picked up later today and taken to the creamery”.
Ian(nick) says “When I get the milk in the creamery, I heat it up to 171 degrees F for 15 seconds. That will make pasteurize your milk safe. But pasteurization is only 90% effective, and we still have to test for e.coli introduced after pasteurization.“
Dr. Paul Jackson (max)shouts out – “Eureka! I found it!” What did you find, Dr Paul? “The bacteria has lytic proteins that pokes tiny holes in the walls of the bacteria in order for it to divide and multiply. If I add more lytic proteins to the bacteria it pokes huge holes in the bacteria and it dies! And it doesn’t affect the other cells – only the e.coli! Maybe I can create an antibiotic that can kill e.coli!”
narrator (Edward)says “Wow! Dr. Paul – that’s awesome! If we inject the proteins right in the cow, would get rid of the e.coli at the source? If we did that, would the lytic proteins stay in the cow and innoculate it, or would they be passed out of the cow?”
Dr. Paul(max) says “The proteins would be destroyed by the cow’s immune system if injected into the cow. The best result would be to add such a protein directly into the milk although we have done no studies to determine how long it will last in milk or even if it will work properly in milk.”
Narrator(Edward)“Great! We have an innovative solution! However, we’ve got a lot more work to do to figure out if it will work. Dr. Paul – if we put the proteins in the milk what effect would they have on humans? “
Dr. Paul(Max) “It’s completely safe for humans”. Ian(Nick) “Sorry, Dr. Paul, but if we add the proteins after pasteurization we need to re-pasteurize”.
Farmer John(Conner): “Thank you, Ian and Dr. Paul! We’ll add the lytic proteins into the milk storage at my farm, to remove the e.coli before pasteurization “.
Narrator: “now we’ve finished all that work to make milk safer but, every time we have an answer we find another question….”
Victim: “Oh no! I just remembered. I’m lactose intolerant!”