Scientists began to use agar for experiments as a way to see how microorganisms—which were previously grown on solid food—developed. Agar powder is mixed with sterilized water and nutrients in a petri dish to create a transparent, semi-solid substance. Scientists incorporate microorganisms, like fungi and bacteria, to the mixture and watch them develop in the gel under a microscope.
Despite its growing popularity over the past five years, microbial art isn’t a recent fad. Alexander Fleming, who discovered the antibiotic properties of penicillin on an agar plate in 1928, created images using live organisms. Yet, this genre of scientific art didn’t gather much attention from researchers until the last decade, when the American Society of Microbiology brought agar art into the spotlight in 2015 with an annual contest.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.