Google is celebrating the birth of the inventor of the Petri dish, Julius Richard Petri with a colourful Doodle today. The German scientist’s 161st birthday has been commemorated with an interactive Doodle that consists of six Petri dishes.

Once you open Google’s home page today, you will be greeted by six Petri dishes and a play button. Hitting the button will make a gloved hand appear that swabs the dishes. The microbes in the dish grow out to spell “Google” out faintly. Hovering over them will show you where the bacteria samples in that particular dish came from. The Petri dishes show bacteria present in a pair of stinking old socks, door knobs, keyboards, a dog, plant and a wet sponge in an animated form.

The interactive Doodle features six Petri dishes and microbes

The interactive Doodle features six Petri dishes and microbes

Petri was born on May 31, 1853 in Barmen, a part of the German Confederation. He studied medicine at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Academy for Military Physicians and the Charité Hospital in Berlin. He was on active duty as a military physician until 1882, continuing as a reservist.

The biologist went on to work at the Imperial Health Office as an assistant to Robert Koch, considered to be the father of modern bacteriology. He invented the shallow cylindrical plate called the Petri dish, on which he would culture bacteria. Previously, he would use agar, a substance made of algae in order to culture bacteria.

The Petri dish is a very important tool for everyone from students to modern biologists and scientists to study microbes and other form of bacteria. Petri died in 1921 at the age of 69.

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