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Hans Christian Gram's 166th Birth Anniversary: Google Doodle Honours Danish Microbiologist

On this day (13 September) in 1853, a genius was born and so Google shared a beautiful doodle to celebrate this ground-breaking scientist's 166th birth anniversary.A Danish microbiologist, Hans Christian Gram is fondly remembered for developing a path-breaking staining technique, which was named after its inventor and is a process used to differentiate between bacterial species.

To honour his life and work, Google has shared a beautiful doodle that has been created by Mikkel Sommer, a Danish guest artist guest. The pink and purple-hued doodle shows that Gram is carrying out a series of experiments wearing round glasses. From microscope to glass slides and bacteria, you can see everything in this cute doodle.

Gram completed his MD from the University of Copenhagen in 1878 before he started working as a resident physician in the municipal hospital of the city. He also travelled across Europe to study bacteriology and pharmacology.

In 1884, Gram developed this path-breaking technique, which is called as the Gram staining technique, while working with Karl Friedländer, a German microbiologist in the morgue of a city hospital in Berlin.

Initially, the scientific method was developed to make bacteria more visible in the stained section of lung tissue, but in the lab, while working with Friedländer, Gram noticed that when crystal violet stain was used to treat a smear bacteria, followed by rinsing it with an iodine solution and organic solvent, it revealed the biochemical function of various samples and also the differences in the structure of bacteria.

In the same year, in a scholarly journal, Gram published his findings and two terms were coined- 'Gram-positive' and 'Gram-negative'.

Gram included a modest disclaimer in that same publication as well. He wrote, "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."

Even though Gram retired in 1923 and passed away at 85, in 1938, his simple method is still widely used and has proved to be widely applicable as well. Gram's legacy will live on forever in the field of microbiology.

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