Field of Science

I for one welcome our glowing overlords...

I've already shown you pictures of the glowing bacterial lightbulbs, but in terms of glowing products the cambridge iGEM team is going from strength to strength. To start with the most amazing, they've made an oxygen activated bacterial bubble-lamp:

(It can be found here if the above does not work)

Maybe it's not the most efficient thing to read by, but it's an impressive level of brightness and it turns off relatively (biologically speaking!) fast. It's simply a large measuring cylinder with a load of bacterial broth inside it, and a tube to blow air through. Even shaking lets enough oxygen through to start turning on the light.

Another thing they've been doing is playing around with images on 24-well plates. For those who haven't used them, 24-well plates are usually run on a plate-reader which reads samples from every well, used mostly (in our lab) for overnight assays or (as I should be doing tomorrow) as a glorified spectrometer, measuring a range of absorbances over different wavelengths.

The iGEM team are using them to make nerdy pictures. This is my favourite:

The thing I like about the 24-well-plate pictures is that their different. Painting on plates is awesome buts it's been done before a couple of times, and the glowing pixel-pictures just look new and fresh and exciting.

There's probably going to be a bit of speculation as regards this of the "but how useful is it" type. And rest assured the iGEM team are thinking of that but at the moment I'm happy to just enjoy the fact that we have glowing pixelated space invaders sitting on the bench.

Glowing pixelated space invaders!

This is why I went into science :p


FreeWildebeest said...

That's very awesome. Although I can't seem to see the bubble-lamp.

Could they combine the two and have animated 24-well plates?

Lab Rat said...

Bubble lamp vid is now working! There were talks of doing a a stop-motion 24-well plate animation but I think that would take a bit too much time to sort out, especially given the limited time left before the competition.

São Canhões? Sabem mesmo a manteiga... said...

your glowing overlords your rent money and then...some?

Anonymous said...

See this is what I want to be spending my time in the lab doing. Not adherence and invasion assays, I want to be doing the mad science.

Lab Rat said...

@diseaseoftheweek: The glowey lights are fun, and I had massive vials of purple and green coloured bacteria the other day as well. Holding a large conical flask with green bacteria in it rather made my day.