Painting with Microbes – How to create your post

Rachel Alexander Painting with Microbes

In Lab 6, you created microbial art using various bacterial strains on TSA, EMB, and MacConkey’s agar. In order to earn credit for this activity (10 pts), you must create a post for the website. Here’s what to include in your post for full credit:

  • Your name
  • Your lab section (F01, F02, F03)
  • One or more photos of your Painting with Microbes artwork. Artwork doesn’t always work out as you’d hoped, so that’s why you can choose 1 of your 3 to post.   But you’re welcome to post all 3 if you’d like.
  • Explain your artistic intent(s)
  • Explain the role of the differential or selective media in contributing to the color spectrum of your works. What type of medium was the work on? Did the medium change color? If so, how? What does that say about the strains that elicited this change or lack thereof? If it was on TSA, then just explain that it’s not differential.
  • Categorize your post by checking the “Painting with Microbes” box (see categories on the right of the screen when you’re creating your post) for full credit and to ensure that others can find it.


For the test plates created with your isolate: For the test of your isolate’s physiology using EMB and MacConkey agars, just note down the results following growth on these media and include them in your lab report. They do not need to be included in your Painting with Microbes post.

A3: Epithet Epitaphs

Assignment 3:Due Jan. 28, 2019 (10 pts)

Research and write a short biography (100-250 words) of someone for whom a microbiological species is named, along with an explanation of the Latin binomial name.



In taxonomy, a species is assigned a particular name called binomial (or scientific) name. The binomial name of a species is based on the binomial nomenclature system. It has to have two parts, i.e. the genus name and the specific epithet. For example, in  Escherichia coli  (the binomial name of a certain bacterial species), the genus name is  Escherichia  and the specific epithet is the  coli.

The  genus  name and the specific epithet are often based on the species’ distinctive features or descriptions derived from Latin and Greek languages. The specific epithet begins in small letter whereas the genus name starts in a capital letter. Both the genus name and the specific epithet are in italicized form. The genus name may be abbreviated but not the specific epithet. For instance, the scientific name for cat,  Felis domesticus, can be abbreviated into  F. domesticus.


Make sure to add your post to the “A3: Epithet Epitaphs‘ category for full credit!

Please also post the link to your post on the sign-up sheet after you’ve completed it. This makes it even easier for me to find and grade it.


Example (written by Dr. Eric Collins, 2018 BIOL 342 instructor):

Escherichia coli  is named after its discoverer, Theodor Escherich, an Austrian professor in the late 1800’s;  coli,  of or relating to bacteria normally inhabiting the intestine or colon. Escherich studied medicine at the University of Würzburg in Germany and then worked at a hospital there. He received his doctorate in 1882 studying cholera in children. There he became very interested in the welfare of children, as his physician father was before him, and particularly the high mortality rates associated with intestinal diseases in children. He discovered the bacterium we now know as  E. coli  in 1885.  At the time, it was not widely known or accepted that microorganisms were responsible for diarrhea. Even today, diarrhea kills almost a million people per year and is “the second leading cause of death among children under the age of 5’. In his time, Escherich was not primarily known as a microbiologist, but was known as an excellent physician. Nevertheless he studied bacterial agents in breast milk, bladder infections, and fecal matter, and their involvement in such diseases as tetanus, diptheria, and tuberculosis. He later moved to Vienna and become famous, eventually starting the “Imperial Institute of Maternal and Child Care’ to fight against high infant mortality rates. Escherich died unexpectedly at age 54, speaking strangely in French as a result of a  cerebral hemorrhage.


“Theodor Escherich.’  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  11 Jan. 2018.

Friedmann H. 2014. Escherich and  Escherichia, EcoSal Plus 2014; doi:10.1128/ecosalplus.ESP-0025-2013

“Global Diarrhea Burden’.  Centers for Disease Control. 11 Jan. 2018.

A2: Microbes in the News Assignment

Microbes in the News !

Over the course of the semester, post 3 different stories involving microbes  from the popular media and then read and comment on 3  posts by other students.


Points: Total possible = 30 points. Earn up to 8 pts for making a post and 2 points for posting a comment. Create 3 posts and 3 comments over the course of the semester.

Deadlines: Posts can be made as soon as you’d like, but for full credit you must post them by these deadlines:

Post 1: Feb. 8

Post 2: April 1

Post 3: April 15

All comments: April 15


Learning Objectives:

– Increase your awareness of microbiology and its role in society

– Expand and apply your knowledge of microbiology

– Practice critical thinking by analyzing popular news media for scientific accuracy

– Develop questions about microbiology

– Help your peers and yourself understand microbiology by answering their questions



Over the course of the semester, create 3 separate Microbes in the News posts on the course website, and then read and comment on 3 Microbes in the News posts by other students. Be sure to follow the guidelines below in order to qualify for  full credit.


Guidelines for creating a post:

Article and link: Enter the title, source, and date of the article and create a link to it. Articles should be from any popular media source (newspaper, magazine, podcast, blog,  etc.) that others can access without hitting a paywall. Any relevant story is acceptable, but challenge yourself to find stories that are current (~within the last 3 months) and that haven’t yet been posted by your peers, whenever possible.

Summary: Write a short summary of the story (just a few sentences is sufficient).

Connections: Explain briefly how this connects to what we’ve covered in class.

Critical analysis: Explain what you found interesting about this story, and what (if anything) you learned. Comment on whether you think the story was scientifically accurate or not. If you noticed any factual inaccuracies or aspects of the story that might inadvertently confuse or misinform readers, identify those and provide a more accurate explanation. Also comment on how this was written. Do you think it did a good job of communicating science to the public? Why or why not?

Question: Write a question about microbiology that you had as a result of reading this story.

Categorize: Categorize your post as “A2: Microbes in the News’ using the categories menu on the right. This will ensure I can find it and give you credit.

Tag: Tag your post based on any relevant microbiological themes by choosing from the tag menu (below categories on the right). Use existing tags when possible, but you can add new ones if needed by clicking “+Add New Category’ link just below the list of tags. This will help us find stories on relevant themes. You can also use these tags to search for other students’ stories on themes that interest you.

Guidelines for commenting on a post:

– Read the news story and the students’ post about it

– Create a comment and write a response to their critical analysis. Do you agree, disagree, or have more to add?

– In your comment, answer their question to the best of your ability. This might require some independent research.

Assignment 1: Introduce yourself

Assignment 1: Create a website post introducing yourself

Due Jan. 23 (10 pts)

The goals of this assignment are to:

  • Learn how to post on the course website
  • Introduce yourself to me and your classmates

It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you categorize your post as   “A1: Intro posts”. That will enable me and your classmates to easily find all of these posts.

What to include in your post

  • your name
  • say something  (could be something about you such as your year in school, major, interests, or an observation about microbiology – or anything else fit to print)
  • a picture – this can be either of you or  something related to microbiology

*Note that this website is public so please don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want to be publicly available.

Need help learning how to post and assigning categories to you post? Watch this tutorial video.

Still can’t get it to work? Email me at and I’ll attempt to help.