Diatoms b/w Diatoms


Diatoms, a type of algae, are found floating in the phytoplankton of the seas. Their cell walls contain silica. When diatoms die they sink to the sea floor. Their soft parts decay and the silica remains. Over time the pressure of the seawater pushes the silica together to form one large layer. This silica is mined and used as an ingredient in abrasives and polishes.

Safety information

The teaching of such an important subject as microbiology cannot be achieved effectively without enhancing the theory with hands on experience in the laboratory.

All microbiology investigations require the user to adopt good microbiology practice. Whenever working with organisms there are practical procedures to ensure safe transfer and avoid contamination, which are common to most activities. These include aseptic technique, flaming loops and bottles, handling and labelling agar plates, incubation and storage and disposal and disinfection. (see Basic Practical Microbiology: A Manual published by the Society for further information.)

Sterilising a wire loop over a Bunsen burner

Safety guidelines

Safety issues which need to be considered before carrying out practical microbiology.

Assorted signs and symbols warning of potential hazards

Risk assessment

How to assess risk before carrying out practical microbiology work.

Students in a biology laboratory preparing microbial cultures

Good microbiological laboratory practice (GMLP)

What is GMLP and why is it necessary?

Autoclave oven

Spillage management

How to manage spills safely.


The Society produces a wide range of microbiology teaching resources for all age groups. Click here to find out more.

School Membership

For an annual subscription of just £15 your school will receive a generous pack of microbiology resources and benefits each year.


We have no courses scheduled at the moment. If you are interested in hosting one of our courses get in touch with our Communications Team Administrator using the email below.