Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lesson of the Day

(From here: what lives on your hand.)

Don't stir sourdough starter with your finger.



  1. I'm having a totally inappropriate response here: I find the photo quite beautiful. Mind you, I would not care to eat it, so I completely agree with your lesson. But I also wonder what a culture from the spatula or spoon would look like. What a fun project that would be... I better stop now.

  2. Anonymous9:35 AM

    Which media is that anyway? Isn't yeast beautiful? It's one of the organisms I work with most in the lab. We have that picture of the centifuge hanging in our centrifuge room. Helps people to remember to log their use in so we can track the life of the rotor. Seems to work. Great photos.

  3. I like the red bits, but the green fuzzies are a bit much really.

    We did the before-and-after-handwash culture once; it's amazing, the variety of flora on your hands. If I'd only realized it was a bad idea BEFORE I did it.

    Nicole, I think it's blood agar (it's not my picture, alas; maybe the in-laws will give me a digital camera soon). I'm especially fond of the pink contaminant you get on yeast plates. And the yellow mold too.

  4. Yes, that's a good lesson.
    My continuing infected state probably has to do with the lack of hand-washing by his co-workers (and him, too) while he was working at the nuke plant earlier this fall. Every day each one puts his/her (mostly his) hand in a doodad that authenticates who each person is. Bet that would have a pretty set of bacteria.

  5. Oooh, and they don't even wipe it down or anything? Yuk. Maybe you can donate one of those wall-mounted Purell things to sit next to it.

  6. Anonymous2:03 PM

    yup, looks like blood agar to me. I used to run a lab for intro biology students where we had them swab various surfaces in the biology department and just outside and grow the bacteria, etc. It was fascinating- toilet seats: quite clean!

    But we also had them swab one dollar bills. These things are GROSS. And they would culture 'regular' media plates and blood agar plates. There was always at least one blood agar plate per class with hemolytic bacteria (break down blood, e.g., strepptococcus) on it from the $1 bills. Nice


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