Microbiologists Recreate ‘Starry Night’ And Other Art With Bacteria For Microbe Art Competition
Bacteria have to be one of the strangest materials for art. Yet scientists show that they can even recreate Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with it. They can create various other shapes of surprising sophistication. From depictions of neurons to a map of Manhattan to detailed jellyfish, nothing is impossible if you’re willing to sacrifice legions of microbes for your art.
These almost literally viral art pieces were created for the first international “Agar challenge” with microbiologists competing to grow the best art piece in agar jelly dishes. Agar plates (Petri dishes) are used to grow bacteria cultures. Agar, made from certain algae, provides a jelly that’s indigestible to many organisms, so it provides a stable base for microbe growth.
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Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Proteus mirabilis, Acinetobacter baumanii, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella pneumonia
Flowering Sunshine, Shigella, Salmonella
First place: Neurons by Mehmet Berkmen and artist Maria Pernil, Nesterenkonia, Deinociccus, Sphingomonas
The Great Wave of Candida by Cristina Marcos, Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis
The Streptomyces Sky, Streptomyces coelicolor
People’s choice: Cell to Cell by Mehmet Berkmen and artist Maria Pernil, Nesterenkonia, Deinociccus, Sphingomonas
Third place: Harvest season by Maria Eugenia Inda, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Mushrooms, Nesterenkonia, Deinociccus, Sphingomonas
Yeast Go Viral, S. cerevisiae, L-A virus
Cells, Nesterenkonia, Deinociccus, Sphingomonas
Second place: NYC Biome Map by Christine Marizzi, Escherichia coli K12
Jellyfish by Maria Penil, Nesterenkonia, Deinociccus, Sphingomonas, Bacillus
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