home .Featured, Art and Science Watercolours “created” by bacteria (sort of, but still really cool)

Watercolours “created” by bacteria (sort of, but still really cool)

OK this is cool :This watercolour painting was created by artistic bacteria | WIRED UK

Though not quite what the headline says.

From the article

With Park’s guidance, Roberts placed Serratia marcescens – a red pigmented bacteria – on to agar plates previously painted with watercolours. When coming into contact with the paint, the bacteria moved the colours around, essentially becoming artists. “Dr Park and I thought the bacteria would either eat or avoid the paint, but some swarmed through it and moved it about as they went, leaving the story of their movements behind them.” Serratia marcescens was chosen due to its motility; the bacteria moved through the watercolour and agar in a similar way to how it behaves in a natural environment: in a co-ordinated manner.

Painting with Bacteria makes visible a microscopic reality. “As the bacteria swarm, they travel in circular movements, like little children charging around a playground,” says Roberts. “They also rotate as they go, and are covered in long hair-like structures called flagella which help propel them. They’re like millions of tiny little car-wash brushes spinning very quickly.”

See sarahroberts.net for more from the artist.

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