Mona Listeria: Microbes as Art

Sorry, I can’t resist a good pun. Anyway…

Many of you have probably heard of the left brain/right brain theory of personality. It is the belief that the left side of the brain is responsible for logical and analytical thinking while the right side of the brain is responsible for more creative endeavors. Artists and musicians are supposed to be left-brained while, as a scientist, I would be considered right-brained. (Although most grad students will tell you that most days we feel no-brained.)

Either way the whole notion is entirely BS. True, the left hemisphere deals with language and speaking while the right hemisphere is in charge of understanding what our eyes see and spatial awareness. But really the hemispheres work together. Complex actions require both sides operating a full capacity.

If you want more proof that this theory is pseudoscience look no further than the American Society of Microbiology’s Agar Art Contest. It showcases pretty solid evidence that science and art are not mutually exclusive… at least for some of us. A number of ghastly Paint Nite canvases hidden in my closet prove otherwise for me.

The idea behind the contest is simple: create a design on bacterial growth media using (what else?) bacteria. You can see the entries here, on ASM’s Facebook page. The winner will be the creator of the masterpiece that garners the most “likes”. I’ve taken the liberty of showcasing a few of my favorites below. A few of them look sophisticated enough to hang in a museum, seriously impressive.

Top left: Yeast Go Viral, Top right: Microcosmos, Bottom left: The Starry Night, Bottom right: The Streptomyces Sky
Top left: Yeast Go Viral, Top right: Microcosmos, Bottom left: The Starry Night, Bottom right: The Streptomyces Sky

And this wouldn’t be a Between Northeastern Tides blog without a little marine science.

Top left: Sand Dollar, Top right: Shell, Bottom left: Jellyfish, Bottom right: Great Wave of Candida (from 2014)
Top left: Sand Dollar, Top right: Shell, Bottom left: Jellyfish, Bottom right: Great Wave of Candida (from 2014)

Now that’s what I call cultured bacteria!

Last pun, I promise. Go vote!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s