Bacteria from a Classmate’s Hand (BIO60_2018)

After examining the inside of a grass blade last time, I was curious to explore beyond the plant kingdom and examine what bacteria look like. I conveniently stumbled upon a sample of bacteria from my classmate’s right hand. The bacteria was cultured in a Petri dish and so it had grown into multiple colonies. First, I used a toothpick to collect a good chunk of the bacteria and then placed it under the Foldscope for viewing. It looks like the bacteria have developed a yellowish brown color and that they are congregating/clustering together. Although it is difficult to see the precise geometries of the bacteria, we can slightly tell that the bacteria are rod shaped and approximately rectangular. The bacteria look opaque and difficult to see precisely through, although perhaps the light from the room or external source may have played a role. I am curious to view other types of bacteria (e.g. spiral-shaped, enterococcus, coliform, round-shaped) under the Foldscope and see how they differ.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear AnnieChang,

    Wonderful post – I love the idea of exploring and getting to know our micro-biome up close. Couple of tricks:
    1) You can use digital zoom to get crisp images – specially for bacteria – which are very small.
    2) Here are a few posts on imaging bacteria; you will find it helpful to follow tricks from these for your own explorations..

    3) You might want to try live bacteria – specially;y if you look in the kitchen sink 😉

    4) Could you please post pictures and a procedure for how you made an impression of a friends hand on a culture plate; and sampled the same. Remember, you are teaching others how to explore as much as exploring yourself.


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