Hans Christian Gram: Who was Danish scientist honoured in today’s Google doodle?

Google Doodle honours Hans Christian Gram for contributions to microbiology

He left a lasting mark on microbiology thanks to the pioneering staining technique he invented, known as the Gram stain, which is why he's being celebrated today. The Google Doodle has been illustrated by Danish artist Mikkel Sommer, and it depicts Hans Christian Gram's work on the Gram strain. He then traveled through Europe between 1883 to 1885 studying pharmacology and bacteriology.

Gram was the son of a professor of jurisprudence Frederik Terkel Julius Gram and mom Louise Christiane Roulund.

The Gram stain is nearly always the first step in the preliminary identification of a bacterial organism.

The test, however, proved to be widely applicable and his staining method continues to be used even today, more than a century later. During his time at the university, Gram served as an assistant in botany to the zoologist Japetus Steenstrup. He won an award for an essay on the size and number of human erythrocytes in chlorotics.

During his travels, Gram noticed that treating a smear of bacteria with a cocktail of crystal violet stain, organic solvent, and iodine solution would reveal key differences in the structure and biochemical function of various samples. Bacteria that turn purple when stained are called "Gram-positive" because their cell walls are so thick that the solvent can not penetrate them. Cells that were considered to be "Gram-positive" have an abundance of a specific polymer (peptidoglycan) and few lipids (a distinct fat/oil biomolecule found in all living cells), unlike bacteria that are "Gram-negative". The Gram staining technique has single-handedly helped diagnose countless bacterial infections - notably, Streptococcus pneumococci, a Gram-positive bacterial pathogen that causes a variety of life-threatening illnesses. In 1884, Gram published his findings in a scholarly journal in 1884, which led to the coining of the terms "Gram-positive" and "Gram-negative".

Little did he know it would still be used more than a hundred years later.

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