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Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as “fracking,” is an oil and gas extraction method in which a mix of water, sand, and chemicals are shot at high pressures into subterranean areas. This process has the potential to not only damage landscapes and impact wildlife, but also to pollute groundwater and surface water, as well as streams. Water collected near fracking sites may show the effects of hydraulic fracturing on microbial communities, and examination of bacterial growth can possibly give indication of habitat degradation or the effect of inorganic compounds introduced by the hydraulic fracturing process. Samples collected by a Jude Lab collaborator from Juniata College, near fracking sites in Northern Pennsylvania from 2015-2016, will be cultured on R2A agar plates and set at room temperature before observation and imaging. The lack of, or presence of, violacein-producing organisms as well as other clear and pigmented colonies will be observed. It is expected that certain strains may produce more violacein than others based on past data collected by Jude Labs, and have more or less bacterial load. The Juniata samples and their previous data and platings will be compared with the plated water samples.
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Ruocco, Anthony W., "Study of Microbial Load in Water Samples from Hydraulic Fracturing Adjacent Streams" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 343.
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