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The Art in Science

Product Image Bactilluminati


Anthony Vecchiarelli, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan

Cyanobacteria form green blooms in marine environments that can grow so massive that they can be seen from space! In this image, we zoom in to see single cells. Just like plants, cyanobacteria are photosynthetic, using light and carbon dioxide to grow. The iridescent outlining of the cells in this image artfully portrays their light harvesting abilities that maximize photosynthesis near the cell membrane. Carbon dioxide levels today are higher than at any point in the past 800,000 years. Cyanobacteria are major players in the global carbon cycle, removing almost half of the remediated atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Vecchiarelli lab at the University of Michigan is interested in developing these clever Cyanobacteria as a tool to combat climate change.