Google Dedicates Doodle to Microbiologist Hans Christian Gram on his 166th Birth Anniversary


New Delhi: Google dedicated it’s doodle to Danish microbiologist Hans Christian Gram on September 13, Friday to mark his 166th birth anniversary. Best known for developing the staining technique, which is used to differentiate between bacterial species, Gram was born on this day in 1853.

The doodle, created by Danish guest artist Mikkel Sommer, shows Google spelled in letters illustrated as Gram carrying out his experiments, his round glasses, a microscope and bacteria.

Gram developed the technique during his work with German microbiologist Karl Friedländer in the morgue of the city hospital in Berlin in 1884. He initially devised his technique for the purpose of making bacteria more visible in stained sections of lung tissue.

While working in the lab of Friedländer, he noticed that treating a smear of bacteria with a crystal violet stain, followed by an iodine solution and an organic solvent, revealed differences in the structure and biochemical function of various samples.

He earned his MD from the University of Copenhagen in 1878, Gram traveled through Europe studying bacteriology and pharmacology.

Gram published his findings in a scholarly journal in 1884, and the terms “Gram-positive” and “Gram-negative” came to be coined.

In his publication, Gram had notably included a modest disclaimer: “I have therefore published the method, although I am aware that as yet it is very defective and imperfect; but it is hoped that also in the hands of other investigators it will turn out to be useful.”

This simple test, however, proved widely applicable. Gram’s staining method continues to be used today, more than a century later.

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