Jack plays the drums. He also plays tennis, basketball, and soccer. He'd like to pursue a career in microbiology in the future. "It has always interested me about how bacteria attack the human body and how antimicrobial agents are able to disable them," Jack says.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a virulent bacterial species that typically infects people with weakened immune systems. However, this bacterium has recently caused infections in healthy young athletes. Jack wondered if soils on some athletic fields might be harboring MRSA. He decided to test if this bacterium can survive in different types of athletic soils.
Jack acquired samples of nonpathogenic S. aureus from a local university professor. He added the bacteria to sterile samples of athletic field soils, including clay, sand, sandy loam, loam, artificial turf, and a sample of a local high school's soccer field. After checking for the bacteria at different time intervals, he found that S. aureus survived in the all the soils for at least a week.