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Identification Of An Unknown Sample Essay

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Introduction
The identification of an unknown sample, particularly in the environment, can be the matter of life or death. Identifying an unknown environmental sample has countless of opportunities and benefits. Identifying pathogens in the environment can save the lives of thousands or even millions of people. Some bacteria are opportunistic pathogens such as Pseudomonas. These pathogens do not commonly infect healthy people, but rather take any opportunity possible such as an open wound or an immunocompromised system. Knowing the bacteria which can prevent or promote the growth of agriculture can help to feed populations. Being able to identify bacteria is a task not to be taken lightly. Many different tests are possible to determine a specific bacterium. Often it takes a combination of several different tests to narrow down and identify a specific genus and species. The most common biochemical test performed on any bacteria is the Gram test. This test distinguishes the structure of the cell wall for that bacteria. Gram positive bacteria have a thick cell wall whereas Gram negative bacteria have a thin cell wall with a peptidoglycan layer. The Gram test is the most distinguishable test, because all bacteria fit into one of these two distinct groups. Another major distinguishing trait is the shape of the bacterial cell itself. The three major cell shapes are circular (or cocci), rods (bacillus), and spiral (spirillum). The organization of the cells in arrangements also
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