Some More Fun With Mold Pictures

I have been doing some work with a GFP modified bacterial strain in the lab the past couple of weeks. We had to buy a blue light excitation source to see the fluorescence. Of course I could not leave well enough alone and re-purposed the blue light for a few alternate purposes including adding some serious cool factor to various microscopic mold images. A few of my favorites are below.

Image for post
Setup for imaging on the inverted phase contrast. The flashlight duct taped to the micropipette rack is the blue light source. In case you were wondering, yes, this is how seat of the pants science gets done.
Image for post
Aspergillus at around 600x, blue light enhaced. Looks like an alien landscape no?
Image for post
Same shot, just a little less blue
Image for post
Same structure, 900X. Remember this is not stained. Blue light enhancement only
Image for post
Fungal hyphae with some spores evident. The 3D effect is really fascinating and I am a bit unsure as to what is happening. This is not under phase contrast but rather with the scope light source completely off. I believe the camera is acting sort of like a phase slider in the absence of direct illumination.
Image for post
Moving out in zoom to the stereomicroscope now with the smartphone camera. Same organism as seen above but growing on a plate at around 60X. The blue light shining in from below is what is producing the blue background in the image
Image for post
A more “raw” image. Uncropped.
Image for post
A cool shot of fungal hyphae under blue illumination only
Image for post
If you adjust the incident angle of the light by just a bit you get different color effects as seen above.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store