Scientists Grow Beautiful Designs for First Ever Microbial Art Competition

November 6, 2015 | Gillian Burrell

Agart Art. Butterfly in a petri dish
Photo credit: Microbiology, AWH, Qatar (American Society for Microbiology)

Here are the winners of the 2015 American Society of Microbiology Agar Art Competition.

Who says scientists can't have a little fun in the lab? These microbiologists demonstrated their artistic flair by culturing bacteria and fungi in stunningly intricate designs.

First Place: Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs, with artist Maria Penil.

Neurons grown in agar
Neurons. Photo credit: Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs, with artist Maria Penil.


Second place: a collaboration between citizen scientists and artists at Genspace: New York City's Community Biolab. Fifty participants painted square petri plates with stencils of NYC's street grid.

NYC Biome Map
NYC Biome MAP. Photo credit: Christine Marizzi, an educator at a community lab.


Third place: Maria Egenia Inda, from Cold Spring Harbor Labs. Maria used Saccharomyces serevisiae (yeast) that had been engineered to produce aunique color palette.

a farm painted on Agar. Agar art
Harvest Season. Photo credit: Maria Eugenia Inda (Cold Spring Harbor Labs).


People's Choice: Mehmet Berkmen with artist Maria Penil. The team used a color palette of Serratia (red), Deinococcus (orange) and Nesterenkonia (yellow).

Agar art of cell-to-cell communication
Cell to Cell. Photo credit: Mehmet Berkmen with artists Maria Penil.


Too see all the entries, visit the Facebook page of the American Society for Microbiology.

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