Really cool: 3D printed microbes for the visually impaired

Image from Nanowerk story.

This is one of the most interesting things I have seen relating to microbiology recently:  3D printed giant germs help visually impaired see the world of microorganisms reported by Nanowork News on October 31.  This work has done by researchers from the BBSRC (the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the UK) who hosted an event called “Giant Germs” for the blind and visually impaired.  In discussing various microbes (alas, the story implies that all they discussed were pathogens), they had accompanying tactile sessions to feel the structures of the microbes.  Just a really brilliant, important idea.

Fun with a $1300 3D printer – featuring @ryneches in my lab

Just a quick one here.  I am posting some links to videos and blog posts about efforts by a student in my lab – Russell Neches – to use 3D printing to help with carrying out high throughput studies of microbial diversity. Basically the idea is that we can use new very cheap 3D printer technologies to help with normalizing sample volumes by printing in essence micro titer dishes with variable well depth. For more on this see some of the links/videos/etc below:  

From Russell’s blog:

Some of Russell’s videos

Aggie TV news story about Russell’s work on this: