On Friday, Google Doodle celebrates the 166th birth anniversary of Danish Microbiologist Hans Christian Gram, who is famous for his development of the Gram Stain. It has been illustrated by Danish Artist Mikkel Sommer, and depicts Hans Christian Gram’s outstanding work on the Gram Strain.
He has earned MD in 1978 from the University of Copenhagen and then traveled through Europe to study pharmacology and bacteriology. While working in Berlin at a Microbiologist Lab, Mr. Gram noticed that treating a smear of bacteria with a crystal violet stain, followed by an iodine solution as well as an organic solvent, revealed distinction in the biochemical function and structure of various samples.
Later in 1884, Mr. Gram has published his findings in a Journal, which led to the introduction of the terms “Gram-negative” and “Gram-positive”, which appeared purple under a microscope as its cell walls are so thick that the solvent cannot pierce them. On the other hand, Gram-negative bacteria have thinner cell walls, which permit the solvent to wash away the stain.
Mr. Gram has notably included as a modest disclaimer in his publication, which reads: “I have therefore published the method, although I am aware that as yet it is very defective and imperfect; but it is hoped that also in the hands of other investigators it will turn out to be useful.”
However, the test proved to be broadly applicable and his staining method continues to be used even at present, over a century later.