Complete report of Basic Biology practicum with title “Lazzaro Spallanzani
Experiment“, that arranged by:
Name : Nur Pratiwi
Registration Number : 1114040196
Group : III (three)
Class : ICP Biology B
After checked and consulted by Assistant and Assistant Coordinator, so this
report was accepted.
Makassar, November 2011
Assistant Coordinator, Assistant,
Djumarirmanto, S.Pd Gunawan Rahmil
Lazzaro Spallanzani was an Italian physiologist who extensively
studied animal biology and reproduction. He is probably most famous for his
experiments that helped to disprove the theory of spontaneous generation, which
helped to pave the way for future research by Louis Pasteur (1822-1895).
Spallanzani was a creative and endlessly inquisitive researcher who studied
subjects in biology as varied as sexual reproduction, blood pressure and
echolocation in bats. He is also well known for his forays into other areas of the
physical sciences. For instance, he studied lava flows inside an active volcano.
The theory of spontaneous generation asserted that living things could come
into being without a living predecessor. Georges Buffon (1707-1788) and John
Needham (1713-1781) largely championed these theories. They believed that all
living things contain, in addition to inanimate matter, special "vital atoms" that
are responsible for all physiological activities. After death, these "vital atoms"
would escape into the soil and would be taken up by plants. The two men
claimed that the small moving objects seen in pond water are not living
organisms but merely "vital atoms" escaping from the organic material.
Spallanzani designed elegant experiments that helped to support his theory that
these were in fact small living microorganisms. In his most famous experiment,
Spallanzani showed that a sealed container of boiled broth would not have any
microorganisms present, while those that were left unsealed or at room
temperature would have evidence of living creatures. He reasoned that if
spontaneous generation really took place, then all flasks should have evidence of
infestation. These experiments were also significant because they were the basic
steps that Louis Pasteur initially followed in order to kill germs in milk without
harming the liquid.
The purpose of this practicum, to give the chance for the students to
follow the steps that had been done by the scientist to solve the biology problem.
Especially to know where the life begins.
Based on this practicum. The student will know and understand the theory
about beginning of life. Beside of that, the university student will know how the
steps scientist can be solve this biology problem.
PREVIEW OF LITERATURE
The question about “Where the life begins?“ had tried to answer with some
theory and experiment. One of the theory and the experiment is Spallanzani which is
not believe about Abiogenesis Theory or Generation Spontaneous theory that said by
Aristoteles (Tim Pengajar, 2011).
Started from the era of Aristoteles (300 SM) all the people believe that the
life body was happened with spontaneously from the thing that didn’t life. This
argument sometimes we can say the Abiogenesis theory (Generation Spontaneous
theory). This argument was follow by John Needham (1745-1750). He make the
experiment with some of rice and meat that had been boiled. And then, he make the
conclusion from his experiment that said although the boiled water kept into the
closing bottle but the microbe (microorganisms) can be show in that water. This
argument was showed the development and improvement of biology science in that
era. But there are some of biology scientist doesn’t agree and believe with
Abiogenesis theory (Generation Spontaneous theory), and then all of them trying to
make experiment and give an evidence to collapse the Abiogenesis theory or
Generation Spontaneous Theory (Ristiati, 2000).
In 1765 Spallanzani began publishing his numerous scientific works. Most of
them are motivated by a philosophy of science which nowadays could be called
reductionist, namely, a belief that most phenomena are reducible to physical and
chemical explanation. In 1769 he accepted the chair of natural history at the
University of Pavia, remaining at this post until his death on Feb. 11, 1799.
Spallanzani is well known for one of his major works on microscopic observation
that concerned the systems of spontaneous generation, and was an attempt to
disprove J.T. Needham's and the Comte de Buffon's theory in support of spontaneous
generation. Although his experimentation was exact, and he did prove that some
organisms can live in a vacuum for many days (anaerobes), his theory was not
comprehensive enough. Thus Spallanzani did not succeed in establishing in a final
way that the theory of spontaneous generation was wrong. He also did important
work in embryology. He was an ovarian preformation, and through his experiments
with artificial fertilization using filtered semen he pointed out the need for the
physical contact between the spermatozoa and the ovule. He thus disproved the
fertilizing power of the seminal fluid. Yet he did not fully understand the process,
and in plants he described fertilization as being effected by the spermatic vapor of
the pollen and not by any of the visible parts of it (Anonymous, 2011).
The other scientist biology is Lazarro spallanzzani. Lazarro Spallanzani was
born on January 12, 1729, in Scandiano, Italy. He attended the University of Bologna
and began his studies in law. However, his cousin, Laura Bassi, a professor of
physics and mathematics, introduced him to a broad range of scientific studies.
Lazarro Spallanzani altered his educational course and, in 1754, he earned a Ph.D. in
philosophy. He joined the priesthood to support himself while he studied natural
phenomena, hoping to determine explanations for such events as a stone skipping on
water, the regeneration of decapitated snail heads, and the electric discharge of
torpedo fish. Over the course of his career, Lazarro Spallanzani would examine the
pits of spitting volcanoes, the world of reproduction, the waters of eels, the dark
depths of the bat's home, and the intricacies of the vascular system
Lazarro Spallanzani, meanwhile, set out in 1765 to prove that
microorganisms existed because they were already present in some form in the
solution, the container, or the air. He took solutions which he knew would "breed"
organisms and boiled them for up to an hour. The flasks were hermetically sealed to
keep out contaminated air. Nothing grew (Anonymous, 2011).
Schultze (1836) to improve Spallanzani’s experiment with to flow the air that
pass by the acid and base which is solid in to the tube which is fill by the liquid broth
that had been boiled before. But the people who was supported the Abiognesis
(Generation Spontaneous) theory was said, the air that is pass by the acid and base
had changed, so there is no microorganisms in the liquid broth (Ristiati, 2000).
Schoeder and Theodore von Ducsh (1854) had been done the same
experiment with Lazarro Spallanzani, but they were filtered the air that entered into
the tube with sterile cotton, and the result is showing there is not growth in the meal
water that had heated. Louis Pasteur take the conclusion from his experiment, its
saying Omne vivum ex ovo, omne ovum ex vivo. Louis Pasteur conclusion
supported by John Tyndall who found the method which is said Tyndalisation
But proponents of the spontaneous generation theory dismissed Spallanzani's
experiments, saying only that the boiling process had destroyed elements vital to the
propagation of the organisms. It was not until Louis Pasteur's experiments on
bacteria a century later that Lazarro Spallanzani was proved right (Anonymous,2011)
Lazarro Spallanzani, with his experiment try to show if the microorganisms
didn’t come spontaneously with his experiment. He boiled the liquid broth and close
it, so that the thing from outside cannot enter to the liquid broth. Louis Pasteur is a
master of biochemistry and microbiology. In the 1865, he observed by boiling the
broth in tube also, but the tubes check didn’t close properly, but in formed as likely
letter of “S”, so its end still opened. The air could reach the inside part of this tube,
but Louis Pasteur had an argument that any bacteria or microorganism which floated
in the air would trapped in the long tube’s check. In fact, as commonly the broth was
still sterile until it flowed the broth to the tube’s check, then it flowed back again.
Through this observation, Louis Pasteur success collapsed the Abiogenesis
(Generation Spontaneous) theory (Kimball, 1999).
A. Place and Date
Day / date : Tuesday / November 1st
Time : 10.50 am – 12.20 pm
Place : Biology Laboratory at the second floor on west side
FMIPA State Unifersity of Makassar.
B. Tools and Materials
a. 4 reaction tubes
b. 1 tube reaction rack
c. 2 cork covers
d. 1 spiritus lamp
e. 1 wood clem
a. 40 mL liquid broth
b. 1 candle
C. Work Procedure
1. Filled the fourth reaction tube with liquid broth, each tube that filled with 10
ml and give it a label “Tube I” , “Tube II”, “Tube III”, and “Tube IV”.
2. Tube I is not simmered and let opened it.
3. Tube II is closed by cork closed and then droped the liquid candle between
tube’s mouth and it’s cork cover.
4. Tube III is simmered on the spiritus lamp, then let opened it.
5. Tube IV is simmered on the spiritus lamp, and closed it by the cork cover.
And then, drop the liquid candle between tube’s mouth and it’s cork cover.
6. All of the reaction tube was putted into the rack and keep it save.
7. Did observation and made note to wrote down the data from your
observation of liquid broth every day during 4 days.
A. Result of Practicum
Table of Experiment Result
I II III IV
c s f sm C s f sm c s f sm c s f sm
1 0 - - - - - - - - + - - - + - - -
++ + + + + - - ++ + + - + - - - ++
++ + + ++ + - - ++ + + - + - - - +
++ ++ + ++ + + + ++ ++ + + + + - - ++
Notes: - = unchanged
+ = changed
++ = the changed rise up
c = color f = foam
s = sediment sm =smell
10mL 10mL 10mL 10mL
Tube I = unheated and opened
Tube II = unheated and closed
Tube III = heated and opened
Tube IV = heated and closed
= spiritus lamp
= cork cover
Based on the experiment during 3 days, in the broth appeared the following
a. Tube I
Tube I which was let open and without heating. On the 1st
is not change yet. On the 2nd
day, its colour become turbid, smell, and
there is sediment. Its caused by the broth already contamined with the
bacteria at outside of the tube. Beside that, it’s caused by the microorganism
which life in the broth, due to three is not heating at first.
b. Tube II
Tube II which was closed by using cork, and then between tube’s
mouth and cork is dripped with liquid candle, but it doesn’t be heated on the
day, there is not change that occurred yet. But on the 3rd
colour become turbid, there was sediment, but there was not smell. It is
caused by the broth doesn’t be heated. So, the microorganism that life inside
still alive, although there is not air which come into the tube.
c. Tube III
Tube III which the broth was heated and it let to open (without
cover), on the 1st day there was not a change yet. This condition occur until
day its colour change become turbid , smell, and there exist sediment.
Its caused by the broth already contamined with the bacteria from the air,
although it had been simmered before.
d. Tube IV
Tube IV which the broth was heated and closed by cork. Then,
between tube’s mouth and cork is dripped a liquid candle. From the 1st
day, there is not change occur to this broth. Its colour still transparent, there
is no smell and sediment. It’s caused by the broth in the tube is isolated
from external air, so it doesn’t contamined by external microorganism, more
ever formerly it’s already heated, so the bacteria in the broth is already
This situation was fit Lazzaro Spallanzani experiment that the tube
was not boiled and left open would bigger possibility contaminated because
microorganism was coming from the air and also in stock and tube.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION
From the result of observation we can conclude that:
1. Alive thing could not come from the stock because the microbes are coming
from air or the place of stock/tube that unclearly.
2. In this practicum, we should be careful to do that. Because everything can
influence the result of observation.
1. Suggestion about laboratory tools.
The tools which were available from laboratory had adequate supply. But
it still should be improved in order that this practicum could be held well.
2. Suggestion for apprentice.
Apprentice has to know the theory before beginning the practicum so that
the apprentice can understand quickly and safely in practicum.
3. Suggestion for assistant
It will be better if in this practicum, we used the time as well as. So, it
could be held like what we hope. Besides that, the relation between the
assistant and the practicants must improved.
Anonymous. 2011. Lazzaro Spalanzani. http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ewb.
Accessed on November 7th
2011 in Makassar.
Kimball, John. 1999. Biologi, edisi keiima. Jakarta: Erlangga.
Ristiati, Putu. Pengantar Mikrobiologi Umum. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan
Tim Pengajar Biologi. 2011. Penuntun Praktikum Biologi Dasar. Makassar:
Laboratorium FMIPA UNM.
ANSWER THE QUESTION
1. The causes of occur the change of broth is microorganism which life in the
broth, it because of that broth doesn’t be simmered so it’s microba still exist.
Beside that, the broth already contamined by microorganism which life in air,
because the reaction tube doesn’t be closed.
2. The organism that cause the change of broth is from and life in the air, and
then come into the tube.
3. The change of broth occur in the tube which does not be simmered / heated or
it is let opened, and doesn’t be simmered and opened. That change occur due
to that action causes the bacteria still exist and will still exist in broth.
4. The Tube III there is not change. This tube is simmered at first and then it’s
closed properly. When the tube is simmered, the bacteria in the broth is lost
and organism from the air can’t contamine the broth due to the tube is closed
5. It’s imposible if in broth appear immediately the new organism, except the
bacteria in both.
6. The observation result can be used as the strong evidence to deny the
Generation of Spontaneous Theory, because in this experiment can be proved
that the new organism can’t be appear in closed tube which has content the
broth and it already heat formerly.