• Question: what is the most arty experinment in the lab

    Asked by 297susp37 to Rose, Richard, Paul, Nikolai, Laurent, Harriet, Giovanna, Ella, Devon, Chloe on 21 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Laurent Dupays

      Laurent Dupays answered on 20 Nov 2018:

      As a developmental biologist, someone who is studying the formation of the embryo, the most arty experiment is the immunofluorescence.
      In that experiment, you use a fluorescent molecule to tag your protein of interest. With a particular microscope (a confocal microscope) you can see different colours at the same time, and therefore different type of molecules at the same time in an embryo. Pictures are amazing!

      You can see some examples here:

    • Photo: Chloe Huseyin

      Chloe Huseyin answered on 8 Jan 2019:

      Microbiology can be very arty, there are even international competitions like this one https://www.the-scientist.com/image-of-the-day/image-of-the-day-agar-art-36698. These pictures were made by drawing using a suspension of bacteria onto bacterial growth media (their food) that has a substance called agar in it that makes it solid. Agar works the same way as gelatin in the flavoured jelly that you might make yourself at home.

      In the lab where I work we do not routinely draw these kind of pictures as part of our jobs but sometimes if we’re taking them to schools as props or to show the public at open days we might prepare some. When you draw on the bacteria you can’t really see anything except a wet line (which dries in) so you have to let the bacteria grow for a few days to see if your picture worked or not. Mine are always terrible! So I love seeing the really complicated ones that win competitions.