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The American Society for Microbiology launched its first ever Agar Art contest, inviting microbiologists to unleash their hidden creative genius and produce a piece of art using microbes and petri dishes as tools. Looking through the galleries of the winning entries, as well as many of the submissions, we can see that many participants got really carried away.

The first place was taken by molecular biologist Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs, and mixed media artist Maria Penil for their creation “Neurons”.

“Neurons and biological shapes is a common theme in the works of the artist Maria Penil,” the entry explains. “Here she painted with yellow Nesterenkonia, orange Deinococcus and Sphingomonas isolated for their attractive colors as contaminants in the Berkmen lab. After growing the plates for 2 days at 30C, the artist usually lets the plate sit for few more days before permanently sealing the work in epoxy.”

agar-art-contest-4

The winner of the “People’s choice” award for “Cell to Cell” — a painting made using bacteria on agar and sealed in epoxy, by Maria Penil.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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