Under My Thumb

At the January OMSI After Dark, more than 40 people gave us their thumbprints (and their bacteria) to help grow a bacterial lawn. A bacterial lawn describes the appearance of bacterial colonies when all the individual colonies on a petri-dish merge together to form a field or mat of bacteria. What we hope to see is a patchwork of the different types of bacteria and fungi.
Here is a picture of ours in a large dish.
The different bacterial colonies are not differentiated, so this is not the result we were hoping for. We think this was due to the way it was stored.  Water collected in the dish and either spread the organisms over the entire dish or created an environment where one or two dominant bacteria took over. We doubt this accurately represents what’s on our thumbs, and we hope try it again soon!

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