“One day, out of sheer curiosity, I dipped a paintbrush directly onto an actinorhodin droplet and realized how similar it was to watercolour paint,” [Dr. Vineetha] Zacharia says, explaining that the discovery became the inspiration for a new creative outlet. Today, this antibiotic is the basis of most of her artistic work. She calls these vibrant paintings “Actino Art.”
Zacharia has also experimented with actinorhodin’s pH-responsive properties to change her paintings’ colours. Under basic pH levels (ammonia is a basic solution, for example), the antibiotic is blue, but at acidic pH levels (e.g. vinegar), it becomes red. On her Twitter and Instagram accounts, she has demonstrated this characteristic by adding dilute acetic acid to turn a blue painting red.
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