“Cleaning Bacteria” By Karli Fitzgerald

I decided to make a Gram-positive bacterium out of glycerin soap.   I wanted to make a bacterium that we are usually trying to wash away when we wash our hands because it would be ironic to wash your hands with the thing that you are trying to wash off of your hands.   Staphylococcus aureus  is a Gram-positive, coccus-shaped bacterium that is commonly found on skin and can cause infections, and the easiest way to prevent these infections is by washing your hands.   I made two pieces of soap so it would look as though the bacterium was cut in half and you could see inside of it.   I made the outer layer thick and purple to represent the thick peptidoglycan cell wall that stains purple after Gram staining.   Inside one of the halves you can see a couple plasmids, while the other half has the supercoiled DNA.   The little blue dots inside the cell represent ribosomes, and the glitter represents all the proteins and other small molecules you might find in the cytoplasm.

I also made a piece of soap to represent a Gram-negative cell envelope.   The blue layers represent the inner and outer membranes, the orange layers represent the periplasm layers, and the pink layer represents the thin peptidoglycan cell wall.   I made this layer pink because Gram-negative bacteria stain pink after Gram staining.

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