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Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' was re-created with bacteria. It's as cool as it sounds.

What do the Chicago skyline, a cat, a subway map, a Van Gogh, and a skull all have in common?

They've all been re-created into beautiful masterpieces using... bacteria.


BOOM is right. And BOOM is bacteria, too.

The American Society for Microbiology held its first-ever Agar Art contest last year, challenging microbiologists to mix science with art.

Their main rule: to use microbes as the paint and agar (a jelly-like substance) as the canvas.

Let's just say I'm glad I wasn't a judge — it would have been a tough call. After 85 submissions came rolling in, it's evident that science and art can overlap in a very special way.

Here are the top three winners:

1. Neurons

Submitted by Mehmet Berkmen of New England Biolabs, with artist Maria Penil.

2. NYC Biome Map

Submitted by Christine Marizzi, an educator at a community lab. This art piece was created as a collaboration between citizen scientists and artists at Genspace: New York City's Community Biolab.

A subway map! Ahh. I love this description of it:

"Microorganisms reside everywhere, yet they are too small to be seen with the human eye. New York City is a melting pot of cultures - both human and microbial - and every citizen has a personalized microbiome. Collectively, we shape NYC's microbiome by our lifestyle choices, and this unseen microbial world significantly impacts us."

3. Harvest Season

Created by Maria Eugenia Inda, a postdoctoral researcher from Argentina working at Cold Spring Harbor Labs.

People's Choice Winner: Cell to Cell

It had the most Facebook Likes! Created by the group that won first place, Mehmet Berkmen with artist Maria Penil.

When the idea of bacteria goes from "ew" to "interesting!" ... that's awesome.

Bacteria is so normal and EVERYWHERE (you're entirely covered with it, sorry), but it's still often seen as such an icky thing. This is one way to show it in a different light and have a lot of fun doing so.

There were many submissions that didn't win the art contest but are still a sight to behold — like this version of Van Gogh's "Starry Night." Whaaat!


Here on Facebook.

Or this butterfly that almost looks real.

Here on Facebook.

And then there's St. Louis. Hey there, St. Louis.

Here on Facebook.

Looks like it was picture day for one petri dish.

Here on Facebook.

What a cool competition and a way to show that science and art don't have to be seen as opposites.

Left-brained, right-brained, whatever. We tend to box ourselves in to thinking we're only good at certain things. But ... says who? Just go for it.

You can see the rest of the amazing submissions on Facebook. Feel free to share them too! They worked hard, guys.

A map of the United States post land-ice melt.


Land ice: We got a lot of it.

Considering the two largest ice sheets on earth — the one on Antarctica and the one on Greenland — extend more than 6 million square miles combined ... yeah, we're talkin' a lot of ice.

But what if it was all just ... gone? Not like gone gone, but melted?

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Kevin Parry / Twitter

Toronto-based animator and video wizard Kevin Parry has gone mega-viral for his mind-boggling collection of videos where he turns himself into random objects.

In a series of quick clips he changes into everything from a pumpkin to a bright yellow banana and in most of the videos, he appears to suffer a ridiculous death. The videos combine studio trickery with a magician's flair.

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Pop Culture

A brave fan asks Patrick Stewart a question he doesn't usually get and is given a beautiful answer

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through.

Patrick Stewart often talks about his childhood and the torment his father put him and his mother through. However, how he answered this vulnerable and brave fan's question is one of the most eloquent, passionate responses about domestic violence I've ever seen.

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OriginalAll photos belong to Red Méthot, who gave me permission to share them here.

Chloé was born at 32 weeks.


Every single day, babies across the world are born prematurely, which means that they're born before 37 weeks of gestation.

In Canada, about 29,000 infants are born prematurely each year, roughly 1 in every 13. But in the United States, around 400,000 to 500,000 are born early. That's about 1 in every 8 to 10 babies born in the U.S.!

Red Méthot, a Canadian photographer and student, decided to capture the resilience of many of these kids for a school photography project.

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Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

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Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.
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