Monday, 8 July 2013


Research Topic: An investigation on how acids in fruits affect the amount of bacteria on the iPhone.

Hypothesis: The citric acid in fruits such as oranges will kill bacteria on the iPhone the best.

Background Information: Based on certain studies in the UK and US, it has shown that there are 3 types of bacteria found on the iPad which possibly means the iPhone as well as both gadgets are receptors of bacteria from the hands which pass it on. An example is a what the New York Daily Times has done. They swabbed 4 iPads and they found that the bacteria present on the iPad were

1. Staphylococcus aureus (a common source of staph infections)
2. Candida parapsilosis (a yeast)
3. Corynebacterium minutissimum (a common source of skin rashes)

The Wall Street Journal also did a similar experiment in which they collected 8 random phones from a Chicago office to investigate on the amount of bacteria found on them. They discovered abnormally large numbers of

4. Coliforms (a bacteria indicating fecal contamination)

The labs that tested the phones, HML Labs of Muncie, Ind., discovered that there were between 2,700 units to 4,200 units of coliform bacteria. To give you an idea of how much that is, in normal drinking water, the limit is less than 1 unit  of coliform bacteria per 100 ml of water.

1. Steve Sande.  (2010, October 15).  iPhone, iPad glass crawling with bacteria and viruses.  Tuaw.  Retrieved July 8, 2013.  From

2. Oren Yaniv.  (2010, June 5).  Do they have an app for hand sanitizer? Demo iPads at city Apple stores are crawling with bacteria.  Daily News.  Retrieved July 8, 2013.  From

3. Caroline Porter.  (2012, October 23).  Calling All Germs.  The Wall Street Journal.  Retrieved July 8, 2013.  From

Literature Review (Marcus)

Our aim is to investigate on the bacteria found on the iPhone and "British researchers in one study found that mobile phones carry 18 times more bacteria than a flush handle in a men's room." This shows that a sizable amount of bacteria can be found on the iPhone. The article also states that the New York Daily Times swabbed 4 iPads in a store and discovered that it had 3 types of bacteria living on them. They were "Staphylococcus aureus (a common source of staph infections), Candida parapsilosis (a yeast), and Corynebacterium minutissimum (a common source of skin rashes)." This obviously stemmed from the fact that many people were touching the screen of the iPad or any other phone or iPhone for that matter, transmitting these bacterias onto the screen. Although this study was done in America, the fact is that this still shows that bacterias of a few kinds are on the screen of an iPhone, iPad or phone. Therefore our investigation will allow us to find out which kind of acid from a fruit can actually kill the bacteria on the iPhone.

Source: Steve Sande.  (2010, October 15).  iPhone, iPad glass crawling with bacteria and viruses.  Tuaw.  Retrieved July 8, 2013.  From

Literature Review (Gavin)

Some things that we assume are clean, are in reality very dirty and disgusting. For example, our mobile phones. Researchers have found out that there are more bacterias found on your phone than in a toilet. Experts have said that the reason for this is because our phones are often being passed around, which means that the germs are being passed around too. Since the bacteria on our phone are never cleaned, this means that diseases are being accumulated and keep building up. Professor Gerba also suggested that we should wipe our phones with antibacterial substances occasionally to prevent the building up of diseases.

Source: Daniel Bates. (2012, 31 August). You may want to wipe down your mobile as phones found to have more germs than a TOILET SEAT.  Mail Online. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from

Literature Review (Yun Shu)

Our mobile phones are actually very dirty. For example, "One sample, collected at the 14th St. store, contained Staphylococcus aureus, the most common cause of staph infections, which can lead to an array of ailments, from minor skin infection to meningitis." (New York Daily News, 2010) 
Since the experiment was not done in Singapore, the results may differ vastly, but another experiment also showed that bacteria can be found on phones and the amounts were dangerous. "A lab tested eight randomly selected phones from a Chicago office for this article. The phones showed no signs of E. coli or staphylococci bacteria. But all phones showed abnormally high numbers of coliforms, a bacteria indicating fecal contamination. Of the eight phones tested by HML Labs of Muncie, Ind., there were between about 2,700 and 4,200 units of coliform bacteria. In drinking water, the limit is less than 1 unit per 100 ml of water" (The Wall Street Journal, 2012) This goes to show that the bacteria found on the phones may not generally be the same as we have different habits and life styles but there is bacteria there and some in dangerous numbers.
Our research would include testing the amount of bacteria on different parts of a person's phone(Gavin's) and coming up with a environmentally-friendly solution to reduce the bacteria on the different parts.

Caroline Porter. (2012, October 23). Calling All Germs. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from The Wall Street Journal

Oren Yaniv. (2010, June 5). Do they have an app for hand sanitizer? Demo iPads at city Apple stores are crawling with bacteria. Retrieved July 8, 2013, from New York Daily News

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Literature Review (Reuben)

As clean as it seems, most of our handphones are a lot dirtier than it seems. According to the article, whenever we board the train or any other public transport, we are bound to pick up many sorts of bacteria and many other wanted dirt and grime. Some of the dirt and bacteria include E.coli from fecal origin. When ingested, could cause horrible symptoms like fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, said that people don't usually clean their handphones very frequently. He also said that the amount of germs on a phone isn't a problem — it’s the sharing of phones between people. Without sharing, each phone carries just one set of germs, and won't get its owner sick.

Darice Britt (2013, June). HEALTH RISKS OF USING MOBILE PHONES. Retrieved June 9, 2013, from

Susan E. Matthews(2012, August 30).Why Your Cellphone Has More Bacteria Than a Toilet Seat. Retrieved July 9, 2013, from

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tables for each topic

1. An investigation on how the effect of earphones on our ears.

2. An investigation on plants being indicators of water quality

3. An investigation on the effects of coffee on us

 4. An investigation if garlic can prevent crown gall

4 Possible Project Titles

Suggested Project: Investigating on how duckweeds (other plants) are a bio-indicator on the water quality.

Info: As duckweed are found in almost all water bodies like lakes, we can investigate how they are affected (growth, reproduction, size) based on different types of water situations like if its in salt water will it reproduce more and stuff.

Methods: We must first familiarise ourselves with the duckweed (other plants) to understand how it works. Once that is done we will probably need to find samples of water and test their pH levels as well as the impurities (pollutants etc.) in it. We then find the correlation between duckweed's growth and other factors and the water situation.


Suggested Project: Investigating on how the effect of earphones on our ears.

Info: Since many of us are using earphones now and then, could there be any harm or damage done to us? After all, earphones are basically small speak that we put into our ears.

Methods: We can study the ear structure and how sound gets detected. We then study the earphone's structure and how they fit into our ears. From there, see whether the speaker of the earphone is too close or is the ergonmics of the earphone will affect the ear structure etc.


Suggested Project: Investigating on the effects of coffee on us

Info: Coffee is something we all drink and it has good and bad effects. We want to find out what they are and find a best possible amount and timing to drink for the best performance in school.

Methods: We can allow people to drink a certain amount of coffee and ask them questions to test their alertness and also let them drink during different times of the day to see how it affects us as well. We can find out how coffee affects our physical health by making us stronger, faster etc.

Yun Shu

Suggested Project: An investigation if garlic can prevent crown gall

Info: Crown gall is a plant disease caused by the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. It affects a large variety of broad-leaved (dicotyledonous) plants. This project uses tomato plants to investigate whether garlic extract can prevent crown gall infection.  
more info

Method: Have 4 different set-ups. The first two is of a healthy plant and the remaining two will be infected with crown gall. Water one of the healthy plant and one of the infected plant with the same amount of garlic extract and water daily. Water the other two plants with plain water. Let the plants grow in the same conditions for 2-3 weeks. Observe the changes in the plants if any.

Monday, 1 July 2013

What is Scientific Method?

The scientific method is where we investigate certain interesting subjects using an array of techniques and by doing them systematically. We identify something we want to study and form a 1. Hypothesis, we then use the hypothesis to make 2. Predictions. We then test our predictions by doing 3a. Experiments or 3b. by further Observations. We then 4. Record Results and come up with a 5. Conclusion.