Bacteria are Beautiful!

Bacteria are Beautiful!

• Fractal art made with cultures of the ordinary soil bacterium, Bacillus subtilis , expressing differently colored fluorescent proteins. Each image in the series zooms out to ever complex and beautiful patterns.

• Researcher Fernan Frederici at Cambridge University works on Synthetic Aesthetics, and paired up with computer scientist Tom Rudge to design these complex cultures. Their eventual goal is to understand the simple rules that give rise to complex emergent behavior seen in nature whether in the patterning of an embryo or termite tunnels (http://scienceblogs.com/oscillator/2010/01/designing_emergent_behavior.php).

• Different shapes emerge based on the conditions of the petri dish, the presence of nutrients and the humidity. These influence the rules of how the cells grow and respond and interact with each other, to form these amazing patterns.

More beautiful patterns : http://www.flickr.com/photos/anhedonias/sets/72157627567623951/

H/T to Huffington Post’s Science section: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/17/bacteria-pictures-by-fernan-federici_n_1211302.html?ref=science

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29 Responses to Bacteria are Beautiful!


  1. Lovely! Makes me want to grow some. 🙂


  2. That’s creepy and cool. It looks like colored sand. Weird.

  3. Rajini Rao says:


    Well, bacteria are even smaller than a grain of sand..these images are from a microscope 🙂


  4. A microscopic world on LSD. 😉


  5. Timothy Leary – I am your father!


  6. Looks like Tibetan Budhist Mandalas made with bacteria.

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Terry Hallett , those Tibetan monks use sand to make those incredible Mandalas, right? The article said that the patterns look like Missoni fabric; I’m not familiar with the designer (?), but a google image did show remarkable similarity. Sort of like Ikat print as well.

  8. irish d says:


    so when are we gonna have LED-Bacteria TV?


  9. Beautiful works of art. I’d definitely buy some prints.


  10. That’s great! (and you know I mean it!;-) )

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    Víktor Bautista i Roca , so I have redeemed myself ? 🙂 😉


  12. Rajini Rao You need no redemption. 🙂

  13. John T. says:


    Bacterial Art… Who would have thought about this? 🙂

  14. Gregory Esau says:


    Thanks for bringing light and respectability to the mighty bacteria, Rajini Rao !! While they would survive very nicely without us, we wouldn’t last a day without bacteria.

  15. Rajini Rao says:


    Very true, Gregory Esau . After looking at the lovely art work, one wonders if they are also more cultured than we are! 😉


  16. Very nice. Looks like some of my painting experiments aimed to see when Random becomes Art: https://plus.google.com/photos/100532098003679342125/albums/5699139096725723265?authkey=COLKo-ec1aKKZQ


  17. Lucas Frib Even without being sick: http://www.ted.com/talks/bonnie_bassler_on_how_bacteria_communicate.html


    (One of my favourite TED talks. This lady deserves a Nobel Prize.)

  18. Tom Lee says:


    Bacteria can be artful, they should be kept in a collection instead of trying to kill them. Thinking about Neosporin and Bacitracin.


  19. Beautiful indeed, thanks for sharing!

  20. John Midkiff says:


    Great!!! Gonna share it with my microbiologist friends right away!

  21. Diane Balch says:


    These are so beautiful, natural works of art.

  22. Diane Balch says:


    I think they look like a combination of aborigine art and sand art.

  23. Sherri Vance says:


    These are amazing images…life is beautiful!

  24. Rajini Rao says:


    Glad you liked it Sherri Vance . I can’t figure out how they were coaxed to grow that way, but I sure can appreciate the results!


  25. u r more beautiful rajni…. i cant understand modern art….

  26. Rajini Rao says:


    vivek jadli , thanks for the smile 🙂


  27. i was just kidding actually u can use very before that… haha

  28. salman k says:


    all of so cute as u madam rajini g

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