Smelly letters

Image taken from http://promega.wordpress.com/

Working with molecular techniques and thus, with the gut bacteria Escherichia coli have led my thoughts towards making images with bacteria on agar plates several times. But since I'm trained for GLP (good laboratory practice) these thoughts have remained thoughts.

Artist don't have these restrains on them, however (
controversy rather fuels them). And of course there's a bunch doing what I and probably many other molecular biologists have been thinking of. For instance, there's the creation of a "living font" made from E. coli, cultured on agar media, changing color while growing. The result is rather neat (pic above!) but it's not really suitable for writing long lasting texts, and I bet it's smelly. And it's not really safe, since E. coli can cause some harm when entering your body the wrong way. It's quite cool though.

More science-related art:


Blend in and wait

Image taken from http://de.academic.ru/pictures/dewiki/109/misumena.vatia.beute.wespe.1771.jpg

We all know that evolution can bring forth the most amazing types of camouflage. Here's a new story: The female crab spider
Misumena vatia likes to eat wasps. And these wasps likes to indulge in bright yellow flowers, but naturally they do not really like to be eaten while being there. So what does the crab spider? It becomes as yellow as the wasp's beloved flower, so that the spider just have to sit and wait for the unsuspected wasp to land. Then it's a helluva meal! Take a look at the pictures. I assume that we all would have a difficult time to spot this eight-legged creature....

Well, in order to really comfirm that it was good to be a yellow spider in a yellow plant, the researchers displaced these colored creatures into flowers with other colors. And the result was that wasps avoided these new combinations of predator and flower, suggesting that they could now spot the spider. Thus, these spiders benefit from being the same color as their flower... Changing color takes a while. White to yellow can take from 10-25 days, and the reverse about six days. I have no idea if the transition state is less effective in camouflaging the spiders, but juding from the result from these researchers I guess that is the case.

Image taken from http://www.jorgenlissner.dk/images%5CPictures%5CMisumena_vatia_hun_859.jpg

Source: Science - ScienceShots.

Since this genus is quite widespread, and since spiders are awsome, I thought I'd post some more pictures of other Misumena:

This one is awsome! The photographer has really managed to capture all the details (
click on it for full-screen). Just look at the eyes! Image taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/Misumena_vatia_female_Luc_Viatour_1.jpg