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.