Or, harvest your own glowing bacteria for <$10 using everyday kitchen ingredients / equipment. This’ll be a post-in-progress. But the gist is this:
- Buy a small squid (or some shrimp), as fresh and untouched (not cleaned) as possible.
- Put it in a covered container (e.g. a gatorade bottle) with some salt water (leave some surfaces exposed! the bacteria need oxygen apparently) for 24 hours in the dark @ room temperature. (aluminum foil, cardboard, and closets are all useful).
Covered is key as otherwise it STINKS. Yay rotting seafood.
- Check for luminescence after 24 hours.
(I suggest a camera with adjusted exposure settings, since I missed it first time around when checking by naked eye. After realizing it was there, it was definitely visible, even with low-light coming in from the propped open closet door).
- If successful (there are glowing bits), sterilize some petri-dish substitute, make some jello with some other nutrients (agar substitute), pick some colonies (sterile toothpick), and plate them.
- Profit. e.g. If 4. is successful (lots of glowing bits), try putting it in a FLASK
bwahaha evil mad scientistEhem. Or make art. Wikipedia: BioArt.
This idea sparked from a post by Macowell (of DIYbio-boston):
with pictures on Flickr:
However, I found the post sparse on some crucial details and the author unresponsive to email, and the DIYbio-boston group seems to be older-than-undergraduate people. Ah well. Anyway, I’m carrying through, and have run 3 variations so far, one of which produced glowing bacteria! yay.
- Squid from Chinatown. Stuck in pot, completely submerged in overly salty water, for a week (annoyed hallmates with smell)
- With Judy, knowledgeable bio and hallmate, bought cleaned squid (kalamari?) from New Deal Fish Market (which is actually a small corner store). See picture @ top of page for result.
Successful, but we waited another 24 hours to make plates due to hosage, and the bacteria died before we could plate them
- Fresh farm-raised squid, at home in ATL — incubated outside — did not see anything glowing, but I was a bit negligent on checking it.
See how strong the light can be: