Google celebrates legendary microbiologist Hans Christian Gram turning 166 in today's Doodle

Google Doodle Celebrates 166th Birthday Of Hans Christian Gram

The doodle is spelt out in illustrations which show Gram doing an experiment, his round glasses, a microscope and bacteria. The technique is still used today and has become the first stop for microbiologists identifying bacteria.

Born on September 13, 1853, in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, Gram began his medical career by working as a physician in the local civic hospital.

Gram was then appointed a professor of medicine at the University of Copenhagen in 1900.

The Google Doodle was illustrated by Mikkel Sommer, a Danish guest artist, who depicted the important work of Gram, who died 4 November 1938. Gram was drawn to natural science early in life, earning a the Copenhagen Metropolitan School in Copenhagen, Denmark. Following that, he traveled throughout Europe, where he studied bacteriology and pharmacology.

During his travels, Gram noticed that treating a smear of bacteria with a cocktail of crystal violet stain, organic solvent, and iodine solution would reveal key differences in the structure and biochemical function of various samples.

A gram-positive bacteria would appear purple when looked at under a microscope, but the stain in a Gram-negative bacteria would simply be washed away, with very few peptidoglycan polymers for the stain to hold on to. While, gram-negative bacteria decolorized because they have cell walls with much thinner layers that allow removal of the dye by the solvent.

He discovered the Gram staining method in a Berlin laboratory in 1884. Thanks to Gram, pneumococci, which is blamed for causing several diseases, tested Gram-positive.

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". The Gram staining technique is extensively used even after eight decades of his death, engraving his legacy in the annals of the history of microbiology.



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