Illuminating evidence that the future for us is dark – Immortal Worlds? collaboration with Dr Simon Park
Bacteria exhibit an astonishing metabolic diversity, which exceeds that of all animals, plants, fungi and higher organisms. Their invisible, and often overlooked activity, sustains all of the life that we can see as bacteria contribute, on a global scale, to all of the Earth’s life-sustaining natural chemical cycles.
The Winogradsky column is a simple device for culturing environmental bacteria and is an elegant means of demonstrating their vast diversity and complex interactions. Invented in the 1880s by Sergei Winogradsky, the device comprises, a column of pond mud that has been fortified with a carbon source and a sulphur source. The column is exposed to sunlight for a period of months to years, during which aerobic/anaerobic, and sulphur gradients form. All of the bacteria in the mud column are present initially in low numbers and are thus not visible…
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