Microorganism Observational System

The following is a prototype container system for culturing microorganisms sampled from tiny fragments of trash.  The image on the iPad  models the potentail viewing system. This particular trash was sampled and collected from the shore of the Alice Furgerson Foundation (environmental preserve) southeast of Washington, D.C.

The lower portion of the system demonstrates how the petri dish with trash fragment and growing broth create smaller projections onto the surface  below.  This opens up an opportunity to further magnify and image the microorganisms using time lapse and real time viewing through the organisms’ their life cycle. 

Ideally, the iPad or similar interactive device might control the multiple cameras embedded in the lower portion of the device.  The six-sample bottle system contains dry samples from the MCEEC field.

The next version of the system, I will build viewing ports to record the microorganisms at higher resolution incorporating electronics,  multi-channel nano-hydrophone, multi-optics.

Water’s Edge, Biome Tells: motion and sound studies from Stephen Bradley on Vimeo.

Currently, I am research building a multi-channel device using a DIY nano-microphone (water proof) with a powerful and clean amplifier to record the sounds of the microorganisms.  A recently discovered research project for isolating and recording the sounds of the Drosophila mating song is an example of what I am interested in developing for recording the sounds of the microorganisms.

An inspiring book that I am finding useful in my current research is the creeping garden, irrational encounters with plasmodial slime moulds, by Jasper Sharp and Tim 1Grabham.  There is a film available that compliments the text that is worth viewing.   The music is composed by Jim O’Rourke

A current research project that has great potential for retrofitting is this informative article about how scientists and audio engineers designed and constructed a multi-channel acoustic recording and automated analysis system to study  Drosophila courtship songs

Another useful resource was in situ Ecophysiology of Microbial Biofilm Communities Analyzed by CMEIAS Computer-Assisted Microscopy at Single-Cell Resolution.

The following are details of the upper portion of the samples.