Pathways in Flooded Plains

Year: 
2017
Ranking: 
Entrant
Artist: 
David X. Cao
Department: 
Chemistry
Lab: 
Thuc-Quyen Nguyen

Description

A non-pathogenic bacterium, stretches out its filaments over the surface creating a visual of pathways over flooded plains in a manner that is reminiscent of how climate change, if left unchecked, will result in flooded areas with only a few pathways left high and dry.

This image of a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli shows that its filaments, the "pathways through the plains", are not conductive while the surface below the bacteria's filaments, the "flooded plains", is conductive, which helps us better understand how different bacteria interact electronically with their environment. This fundamental understanding will help develop better microbial fuel cells in the future through reduction of the over-potential loss during electron transfer between the bacterium and its surface. Conductive atomic force microscopy at an applied potential bias of -0.5 V was used to obtain this image.

CSEP CNSI Schuller Lab UCSB