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Title:A pinch of salt and imagination
Author(s):Khademian, Maryam
Abstract:I was holding the dried out agar plate in my hand, wondering what I am looking at. These beautiful self-organized fractals changed shape in front of my eyes. I could imagine the salt deposits as a starry night, a mysterious garden, or white snowflakes. Agar plates are inseparable parts of microbiology labs. My project mainly focuses on bacteria that can grow without oxygen. I try to understand how they adapt their physiology and metabolism to this condition. To do so I have to prepare every single element of my experiments, including agar plates, in the absence of oxygen. It is cool and yes, hard! In our lab we use about 1000 plates every month, therefore it is quite common to forget about a plate for so long that it dries completely. Yet, not so many people pay attention to the beautiful patterns on their dried plates before throwing them away. I took this photo from my very first dried out agar plate. Since then, I have been taking photos of my dried plates, each with a different mesmerizing pattern. It is amazing that we can find beauty not only in science Per Se, but also in our everyday lab works.
Issue Date:2016-04
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Maryam Khademian
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-04-14

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