Google Doodle Celebrates 166th Birthday Of Hans Christian Gram

Google Doodle honours Hans Christian Gram for contributions to microbiology

Google Doodle honours Hans Christian Gram for contributions to microbiology

Google is celebrating the 166th birth anniversary of microbiologist Hans Christian Joachim Gram with a doodle.

Today's Doodle has been illustrated by Danish guest artist Mikkel Sommer. Gram joined the University of Copenhagen in 1878 and graduated in 1883, earning an MD.

The method made it easier to identify different types of bacterial infection.

Gram was the son of a professor of jurisprudence Frederik Terkel Julius Gram and mom Louise Christiane Roulund. The Danish microbiologist gained global recognition for his development of the Gram stain - a method of staining bacteria, to make them more noticeable under a microscope. Gram stain is a scientific method used to identify and characterise bacteria. Gram was drawn to natural science early in life, earning a the Copenhagen Metropolitan School in Copenhagen, Denmark. He won an award for an essay on the size and number of human erythrocytes in chlorotics.

He traveled throughout Europe soon after, studying bacteriology and pharmacology. The work that gained Gram an worldwide reputation was his development of a method of staining bacteria, to make them more visible under a microscope. "While working in the lab of German microbiologist Karl 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", writes Google. In 1884, Gram published his findings in a scholarly journal in 1884, which led to the coining of the terms "Gram-positive" and "Gram-negative".

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. Pneumococci, which can cause many diseases, are classified as Gram-positive.

Little did he know it would still be used more than a hundred years later.

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