Mumbai: Google doodle celebrates 166th Birthday of Danish Microbiologist Hans Christan Gram.
The art is beautifully designed and painted by Danish guest artist Mikel Sommer. He is known for the development of gram stains – the first step in the early identification of a bacterial organism. Doodle art depicts everything from the use of grams to the microscope and bacterial samples closely.
The work that gained Gram an international reputation was his development of a method of staining bacteria, to make them more visible under a microscope. The stain later played a major role in classifying bacteria.
Gram’s initial work concerned the study of red blood cells in men. He was among the first to recognize that macrocytes were characteristic of pernicious anemia.
Gram was appointed a professor of medicine at the University of Copenhagen in 1900. As a professor, he published four volumes of clinical lectures which became widely used in Denmark. He retired from the University of Copenhagen in 1923 and died in 1938.
Gram was a modest man, and in his initial publication he remarked, “I have therefore published the method, although I am aware that as yet it is very defective and imperfect; but it is hoped that in the hands of other investigators it will turn out to be useful.”
Gram published his findings in a scholarly journal in 1884, and the terms “Gram-positive” and “Gram-negative” came to be coined.
This simple test, however, proved widely applicable. Gram’s staining method continues to be used today, more than a century later.