An Oxford University research fellow has been creating art using bacteria found in the human gut and harvested from faecal samples. But while the striking colours and plant like shapes may look beautiful, they also illustrate the increasing issue of antibiotic resistance.
Dr Nicola Fawcett is part of the Modernising Medical Microbiology research group at Oxford University, which is working to find out more about bacteria and viruses in order to control and better manage them, ultimately improving people’s health.
The work was developed from a mixture of three common gut bacteria grown on a material called chromogenic agar, which changes colour in the presence of different bacteria. Purple shows E.coli, turquoise is Citrobacter, and the dark blue was caused by a tiny amount of a multi-drug-resistant Klebsiella (over 500 times less than the other bacteria). The bacteria were stamped onto the agar, and then left to grow overnight.
Dr Fawcett said: