Award-winning art in a petri dish

Balaram Khamari, 26, is an agar artist. He grows microorganisms in petri dishes so as to form artistic patterns, with the help of agar — a jelly-like substance made from seaweed. A postdoctoral fellow in medical microbiology at the Sri Sathya Sai deemed university in Andhra Pradesh, Khamari has been “painting” with microbes for just over a year. In December, one of his art works — Microbial Peacock — won second prize at the American Society for Microbiology’s annual agar art contest. Take a look at how he creates these works.