We all know our bodies are home to countless millions of bacteria and microorganisms, but without seeing them with our bare eyes it’s almost impossible to comprehend. This petri dish handprint created by Tasha Sturm of Cabrillo College, vividly illustrates the variety of bacteria found on her 8-year-old son’s hand after playing outdoors. The print itself represents several days of growth as different yeasts, fungi, and bacteria are allowed to incubate.
It’s safe to say almost everything you see growing in this specimen is harmless and in many cases even beneficial to a person’s immunity, but it just goes to show why we sometimes it’s good to wash our hands. Sturm discusses in detail how she made the print in the comments of this page. (via Ziya Tong)
It’s been a year since we last stumbled onto these embroidered germs and microbes by Alicia Watkins (previously). Her comprehensive menagerie of microbial maladies has grown extensively. You can see much more in her shop.
Ever since exploring slides of arranged diatoms earlier this year from the California Academy of Sciences, I was left with one small question: how? Diatoms are tiny single-cell algae encased in jewel-like shells that are among the smallest organisms on Earth of which there are an estimated 100,000 extant species. How does one go about finding, capturing, cleaning, organizing, and arranging these artistic displays that are so small they are measured in microns?
One such person who asked these questions was Klaus Kemp who became fascinated by some of the earliest diatom arrangements dating back to the Victorian era. Kemp has since dedicated his life to the study and perfection of modern day diatom arrangements, and his works are among the most complex being made today. Filmmaker Matthew Killip recently sat down with Kemp and learned more about his process in this short film called the Diatomist.
You know when you’re horsing around at the beach and accidentally swallow a nasty gulp of salt water? Well I hate to break it to you but that foul taste wasn’t just salt. Photographer David Littschwager captured this amazing shot of a single drop of seawater magnified 25 times to reveal an entire ecosystem of crab larva, diatoms, bacteria, fish eggs, zooplankton, and even worms. Read more about what you probably don’t want to know at Dive Shield. We do admit the little crab larva in the lower right-hand corner is pretty darned cute. (via Lost at E Minor)
Update: Prints of this photograph are available at Art.com.
Update #2: Via JellyWatch, Littschwager offers a bit of clarification about the image.
Marine Microfauna – part of the contents of one dip of a hand net. The magnification was 2x life size, meaning that the actual frame size was a half inch high, so depending on how big the image is on your screen you can calculate the magnification as you see it. To keep as much focus as possible the sample is in as little water as possible just covering the bottom of a 60mm petri dish. That takes about 15 drops of water, but you are only seeing a very small portion of the total sample.
The slide was photographed aboard the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette off Kona, September 20, 2006, and you can see a detailed listing of the wildlife on JellyWatch.
I’m loving these cross-stitched germs, microbes and other super tiny things by Alicia Watkins over at Watty’s Wall Stuff. The pieces are available a la carte, in sets, or as DIY patterns. (via This Isn’t Happiness)