Famous German bacteriologist's invention helped better identification of bacteria and the diseases they caused.
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Google today celebrates 160th birth anniversary of German scientist Julius Richard Petri with an innovative doodle on its home page. The doodle features Petri's famous invention – the Petri Dish, used to culture cells or small moss plants.
Julius Richard Petri (May 31, 1852 – December 20, 1921) studied medicine at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Academy for Military Physicians (1871–1875) and got his medical degree in 1876. He continued his study at the Charité Hospital in Berlin and continued as a military physician until 1882.
From 1877 to 1879 he was working at the Imperial Health Office, where he assisted Robert Koch. Petri developed the standard culture dish, also known as Petri plate. He also developed the technique of agar culture to purify or clone bacteria colonies from single cells. His work is said to have made it easier for scientists to identify the bacteria responsible for diseases.
Modern Petri dishes often come with rings on the lids and bases, which enables stacking so that they don't slide off one another. There are now “multi-well plates” as well that allow multiple dishes to be incorporated into one plastic container. Learn more about Petri dishes here.
Today's animated Google Doodle features a series of the Petri dishes in Google colours, replacing the “Google” word. On clicking, a hand appears that swabs each of them. Then you can see as the bacteria grow. There's a lens button on the right that directs users to search results on Julius Richard Petri. Check out today's Google Doodle in the video below: