Gram staining of bacteria

Bacteria are broadly divided into two groups, Rods and Cocci depending on the shape of their cells. Cocci refer to bacteria which are spherical, whereas Rods are rod shaped. An identification process known as Gram Staining shows the bacteria stained red/pink, which classes the bacteria as Gram negative or Gram positive.This procedure relies on the…

Watching individual bacteria in a 300 year old pond

Sometimes; wonder awaits you in seemingly quiet places. Walking up to a 300 year old pond that is fed by a stream under water is one such quiet place. But a lot is happening in this ecosystem that’s right below the surface. A quick drop of water fro here into my foldscope – and you…

Watching swimming bacteria in our spit

After a lovely Christmas dinner, my 6-year old nephew (H) and I settle down with a foldscope. And off course we decide to look at spit; in search of bacteria. This is video with the regular basic foldscope without light module. We use just the hanging light in the room as our light source. Enjoy!!…

Traveling kinks – imaging bacteria under a foldscope 

A million surprises are hidden right under our nose (or foot); all we often need to do is just look. And follow our nose (I mean intuition) and answers fall out of the sky. This is an optimists view of science. Let’s make good and careful observations..  At the same swamp (Duck pond swamp, Palo…

How to image individual bacteria with a Foldscope 

Often in our day to day conversations – germs and specifically bacteria come up. I overhear a mom tell a 4 year old; wash your hands or the bacteria will make you sick. Or; don’t eat the yummy toast you dropped on the floor because the bacteria are on it now. Why doesn’t anyone just…

Watching individual bacteria swim under a Foldscope

In our lives; all of us have heard of bacteria. It’s a word so commonly tossed around; all the way from “microbiome” news craze where bacteria control many aspects of our lives (and they do) to yogurt to washing our hands and brushing our teeth. We tell little kids – if you don’t wash your…

Ever wonder why you should wash your hands? Little animalcules..

In a recent trip in Cameroon; I was taking a car ride back from Douala to Buea (home of the Mount Cameroon) when I struck a conversation with a passenger/guide about what he thinks about modern medicine. After beating the bush for some point; I realized that he did not believe in germ theory. I…

Thiomargarita namibensis (Giant sulfur bacteria)

This is Thiomargarita namibiensis – the largest of all known bacteria. Individual cells can reach nearly 1mm in diameter. These bacteria are lithotrophs that gain energy from the oxidation of sulfide using oxygen or nitrate as an electron acceptor. The bright spots are elemental sulfur that is stored inside the cell. These samples were collected…