- The Loom
Invisible Gladiators in the Petri Dish Coliseum
Over the past few months I’ve been working on a book on Escherichia coli (more on that later). To get a feel for how scientists work with the bug, I’ve been spending some time at the lab of Paul Turner at Yale. He sets up experiments to observe microbes evolve. His lab is full of freezers and incubators and flasks full of suspicious goo. One of his students gave me my first Petri dish of E. coli, which I brought home and put by my desk, where I could observe the colonies spread and then fade.
In addition to his work on Escherichia coli, Turner also studies viruses called phi-six that infect another species of bacteria. He experiments with them