Painting With Microbes: Matt Andrews F03 – Exponential Sunrise

Title: Exponential Sunrise

The intention here was to portray a sunrise over water, with the backdrop of the UAF. We live in an exponential world, whether it is as everyday as the light which lets us see, the sounds we hear, the technology which surrounds us, or even the dirt under our fingernails. The world is built on exponential growth and the education we are developing here at the UAF helps us to understand some small part of it.

I had created this scene on sever plates with Micrococcus luteus (for the golden sun and reflection) and Serratia marcescens (for the red water), I was hoping for a bit more color from the Serratia  but I am still happy with the overall effect.

A3: Epithet Epitaphs

Walborg Thorsell  (1919-2016) was a Swedish veterinary scientist who studied mosquitos and mosquito repellents because there was talk about malaria infected mosquitoes being used as biological warfare. Thorsell found that diethylamide was more effective than the common repellent deet.


Thorsellia bacteria are named after Thorsell because they are found in mosquito species that are common vectors for malaria in Africa, Asia, and South America. Thorsellia is founded in waters were mosquitoes breed, and can live in alkaline conditions, and grow faster in blood culture. Alkaline conditions are found in mosquito larvae. Thorsellia has also been found in mosquitos that are carriers of West Nile virus and encephalitis.



A2: Microbes in the News: 1

A Silver Bullet Against the Brain-Eating Amoeba?

-New York Times

-January 14, 2019

I found an interesting article about a new way to stop  Naegleria fowleri, a brain eating amoeba found in freshwater ponds in the US. They are using silver particles covered in anti-seizure medication, which can kill the amoeba.

This article intrigued me because I haven’t heard of anyone having brain eaten amoeba in the United States, I didn’t know that there were any diseases like this occurring here. This article appears to be scientifically accurate. I think this article did a good job at communicating a new discovery by mixing quotes and scientific information.

This article mentions using crickets, mice and cockroaches as animal models for future testing. My question is why are they using these bugs to carry out these experiments rather than a model species?


A1: Introducing Maggie

Hello All. My name is Maggie. Please don’t mind me when I sign off   with “MM Ragusa.” Old habits die hard, and I learned a long time ago that a little ambiguity can reduce a lot of judgement. So I like to keep ’em guessing…

I saw some of the Painting with Microbes pieces from previous semesters, and I was interested in how it was done.   Here’s a You Tube video, in case you’re interested too. Some of it is truly amazing artwork! I have no aspirations of creating anything more impressive than a smiley face, but it’s awesome to see what can be done, when you know your medium. (In this case, the medium is microbes!)

Here’s the winner of the 2018 American Society for Microbiology’s Agar Art contest:  “The Battle of Winter and Spring’ by Ana Tsitsishvili.