Image of the Day: Bacterial Blues
Image of the Day: Bacterial Blues

Image of the Day: Bacterial Blues

A photograph of microbes producing the antibiotic actinorhodin is one of many images on display at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History this winter.

Catherine Offord
Catherine Offord

Catherine is a senior editor at The Scientist.

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Nov 1, 2018

ABOVE: Streptomyces coelicolor colonies producing actinorhodin

Many of the antibiotics used in clinical medicine are derived from a bacterial genus called Streptomyces. Actinorhodin, an antibiotic produced by S. coelicolor, has a distinctive blue color at alkaline pH, but turns red under acidic conditions.

A photograph of S. coelicolor in all its blue splendor is among multiple images, sculptures, movies, and biological specimens on display in the Bacterial World exhibit at Oxford University Museum of Natural History until May 28, 2019.

The Bacterial World exhibit contains a 30-meter-long, inflatable sculpture of E. coli, created by artist Luke Jerram.

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