I present, a microbiologist magical girl! Or a microbe magical girl, whichever you prefer i guess, with guest stars from Moyashimon Microbes!

This was a commission from a really cool MCB grad student, and i was more than happy to work on it because it combines so many many many of my favorite things :D I was basically given more or less free reign with some input on the science side of things, so cookies to people who see all the little references in the picture to microbiology and lab work :3 I may do a rework of this with generic microbes and not moyashimon ones to bring to otakon and awa as a print, but we’ll see in a week or two. 

I wanted to post this earlier but a giant headache basically pooped on the last 8 hours of my life v_v


Once upon a slide…the first microbiology book for 5 year olds!

At last! No more bed time fairy tales about damsels in distress, princesses in pink and knights in white shining armor.

Move over Disney. This is a world we should be opening our kids up to. Steeped in reality. A world 1000x more exciting than those lands too far far far away, and it is all playing out under our very noses, inside our refrigerators, outside our back doors and throughout our own bodies.

Thank you to Nicola Davies (author) and Emily Sutton (illustrator) for this beautiful non-fiction children’s book that introduces young readers to microscopy.

I can’t wait to buy this for my nieces.

Let me know if you need help with the histological sequel ;)



View more of Emily’s beautiful artwork at her website

Find out more about award winning author Nicola at her blog/website

Images and book (ISBN:1406341045) seen at amazon.com and via Walker Books 

This weekend, the Museum is kicking off the Healthy Microbiome Project—an exciting scientific study to find out more about the microbes that make, and keep, us all healthy. And we’re inviting visitors to participate!

Rob DeSalle, a curator in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology and co-curator of the special exhibition about the human microbiome, The Secret World Inside You, explains the important role visitors can play beginning May 14:

It’s incredible to think that large-scale investigations of the human microbiome aren’t even a decade old. The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) launched in 2008 with the goal of identifying and characterizing the microorganisms found on and in the human body. In the study, researchers surveyed 242 healthy volunteers from the United States who gave swab samples that offered a snapshot of the microbial populations from different habitats on the human body: in our underarms, behind our knees, on our hands, in our mouths, in our noses, and on our scalps. Even the internal microbiome was examined, courtesy of fecal samples provided by volunteers.

By 2013, HMP had produced a reference database of more than 10,000 species that make up the human microbiome. But now, we’re moving beyond that first phase—and you can help.

Find out how to participate. 


Microbial art shows how bacteria became the most successful organism on Earth

In an attempt to unravel bacteria’s remarkable adaptive abilities, the late UC San Diego theoretical physicist and chemist Eshel Ben-Jacobs also stumbled upon a new form of art.

Ben-Jacobs grew species of bacteria in his lab and exposed them to stresses such as temperature changes, antibiotics and food scarcity in an effort to understand how they behave and cope under different environmental conditions.

What resulted were formations that indicate the different ways bacterial colonies communicate, react and make decisions about where to expand in a petri dish.

While the colors are his artistic addition, “the strikingly beautiful organization of the pattern reflects the underlying social intelligence of the bacteria,” said Ben-Jacobs.

Take a look at his gallery of microbial art

matty healy

ive been working with watercolour a lot lately and i l o v e it which is funny because i used to hate it and be terrified of it anyway yeah i saw the 1975 on friday night and made this as a tribute because the show was so great 💕


The Department of Extraordinary Embroidery is delighted to present further proof that Science + Art = Awesome. Plainville, CT-based artist Alicia Watkins creates cross-stitch illustrations of bacteria, germs, viruses and microbes. Ordinarily you wouldn’t want to come into contact with any of these microscopic beasties, but these embroidered versions are 100% delightful instead of infectious.

Watkins sells her sciencetastic needlework via her Etsy shop, Watty’s Wall Stuff and Cross Stitchery. Head over there to check out many more examples of her crafty geekery, including lots of cross-stitch patterns and kits.

[via Colossal]

Stuff in my Office

Dr Warhol’s Periodic Table of Microbes

1923 color lithograph. Not a lot of genus and species names, but you can recognize the microbes by the disease. Except for #10, which  is probably Haemophilus influenzae. Way back then, they cultured a lot of B (or H) influenzae from patients with the flu, and the Great Influenzae Pandemic was only about 5 years prior.

Though invisible to the naked eye, your skin is covered in microbes! Skin bacteria get nutrients like sugars, vitamins and amino acids from many materials found in skin. They also release many compounds, some of which can contribute to our health. Skin bacteria eat up things like:

  • Oil
  • Dead skin
  • Sweat

Skin bacteria spit out things like:

  • Acid. Some bacteria emit acids, making skin uninviting to many other microbes. 
  • Antibiotics. Antibiotics are compounds that kill microbes, and bacteria release them naturally to defend themselves. We borrow some of these compounds to protect our own health.
  • CO2. Many kinds of skin bacteria release carbon dioxide, which can slow down the growth of fungus. 

Learn more about the microbiome of your skin in the new exhibition, The Secret World Inside You, now open at the Museum. 


SCIENCE NEWS! There’s life way, way below Antarctica — chilling out in a subglacial lake. Just a few weeks ago, a team of scientists confirmed that half a mile beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, a bunch of tiny, single-celled organisms are alive and well… in a lake boasting sub-zero temperatures and no access to sunlight. 

The discovery is groundbreaking, leading some to wonder if there might also be life on a similar place — Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. 

John Priscu is one of the lead scientists behind the study. In a talk at TEDxBozeman, he explains what it’s like to be a scientist drilling though thousands of feet of ice while living in a tent in Antarctica. 

Watch the whole talk here>>

Photos courtesy of NASA