Tuesday, June 07, 2011
I have been toying with ideas around the use of plasticware in the lab for a little while. I am struck by how durable yet disposable they are. To highlight this I have been making porcelain casts, which are delicate and not so disposable, of the humble Petri dish and trying different glazes on them to represent biological samples - either eukaryotic or prokaryotic cells - growing on them. I particularly like the one above where I have used a very tiny sliver of red glass, which seems to have pooled in small colony like patches. I have also been wondering if there is enough iron in biological preparations - for example bacteria brown on iron rich agar - to make a glaze. Below I have used Porphromonas gingivalis, which is fairly iron rich - I think a hint of brown can be seen! Next I would like to track the route plastics take through the lab - from pristine box fresh to autoclaved distortion.