To celebrate the birthday of German microbiologist Julius Richard Petri, inventor of the eponymous dish, Google has created a very germ-y, somewhat unsettling Doodle. The animation shows a gloved hand smearing samples into six Google-colored Petri dishes. Over the next few seconds, some pretty gnarly looking bacterial cultures grow in each dish, spelling out G-O-O-G-L-E (of course). Mouse over each culture and a bubble pops up displaying the origin of each type of bacteria.
Despite all the huge advances in medical technology in the past couple centuries, petri dishes, one of the most crucial pieces of equipment, haven’t changed much at all. Now a grad student at Caltech has finally brought these flat-bottomed bowls into the 21st century.
The tedious, carpal-tunnel-inducing pipette work of cell biologists may soon be relegated to robots, thanks to a new cell factory developed in Germany. This could free humans to perform new studies and ask new questions, as automated equipment takes over the time-consuming task of growing, feeding and observing cells in the lab.