More microbial art.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my students and I have been experimenting with creating art from living colonies of bacteria:

I don’t think this is a common art form (though it’s one I want to explore in more detail down the road), but I am aware of a few other very intriguing examples of similar things.  For example, here are some of the stunning bacteria images by Dr. Eshel Ben-Jacob:

See more of Dr. Ben-Jacob’s artwork.

And here are some using fungi and bacteria by Dr. Niall Hamilton:

See more of Dr. Hamilton’s artwork.

And, of course, this famous image by Dr. Roger Tsien, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on green fluorescent protein:

Or these reconstructed ancestral coral pigments spliced into bacteria by Dr. Mikhail Maltz:


And some “photography” with genetically engineered bacteria by Dr. Chris Voigt:


In addition to working with actual bacteria and fungi, there are amazing works of art that depict microbes, such as the bacteria and viruses by Luke Jerram:


See more Glass Microbiology by Luke Jerram.

If you know of other examples of microbial art, please share.

2 thoughts on “More microbial art.

  1. Nice stuff … if you continue to explore this medium, be sure to collect a palette of strains. I remember when my then-lab partner, Ed Richard, and I dabbled in microbe art many years ago (as MIT undergrads, class of 1975). Our favorites were <i>Serratia marcescens</i> for a beautiful red, a mutant of same for a much better white, and <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> for a lovely yellow-gold. Being limited to non-indicator plates, and in the days before cloning was widespread, we never found satisfactory greens or blues, although we had a mold that would give us a blue/green/gray sort of color.

  2. This is pretty cool!  A girl in our lab does some pretty cool stuff with E. coli.  I’ve attached a link to a plate she did for me when I first joined the lab. Check it out here.  It’s my home state!

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