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In this instructable I will show you how to make refrigerator magnets for the lab geek. Why not decorate the fridge with petri dishes growing molds and bacteria.  Well maybe that is not such a great idea (don't worry, these cute magnets for the fridge don't really contain any cultures).

I work in a lab that does tissue culture and we had some old petri dishes lying around that we no longer were using, so I took a bunch home. I'm still not sure what to do with all of the dishes, though this seemed like a fun way to use some of them.
 
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Step 1: What you will need

Picture of What you will need
  • Petri dishes - you can pick these up at science supply stores (for example)
  • Glue
  • Sharpies and paint
  • Neodymium magnets
  • white paper

Step 2: Pour Agar

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Using sterile technique (just kidding) fill the bottom of the petri dish with glue, spread it out evenly to cover the whole plate with equal thickness.   Allow to cool and harden.

Step 3: Innoculate with Bacteria and Mold

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I used sharpies to draw the bacteria and mold onto the surface of the glue.  In the first dish I tried to mimic a streak plate.  On the other dish I drew a colony of colourful mold radiating from the centre. 

Step 4: Genetically Engineered (glowing) bacteria

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I had some glow in the dark paint so I dabbed dots of paint onto the surface of the glue so that it looked like bacterial colonies transformed with bioluminescence genes.

Step 5: Evil Mutant bacteria

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For this last dish I wanted it to look like the bacteria was oozing out of the dish so I applied a blob of glue onto the surface as well as over the edge of the dish and then covered it with glow in the dark paint.

Step 6: Add magnet

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Once the dishes were decorated I added white paper to the back of the dish (otherwise you can see the magnet in behind), then glued the magnet on.  For the size of the dish I was using I needed a small neodymium magnet, you may need more than one for larger dishes.
holymoses13 days ago

I recommend to use some white double-sided adhesive tape on the dish, put the magnet on it and put some single-sided tape over it all...this magnet will never part by itself (depending on tape quality of course).

Pic:

1) single-sided

2) magnet

3) double-sided

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ChrysN (author)  holymoses13 days ago

Cool, thanks for the advice.

Of course the flatter the magnet is, the easier it is to fix the single-sided tape on top. But as neodym is so strong, there will be no problem taking a really flat one...perhaps if necessary larger but thinner like e.g. 10mm x 1mm!?!

:-)

Cleo4203 years ago
Hi, I am an admin in a geology lab workplace, so I am not overly sure if this would work, but I have seen small, round plastic containers at craft and dollar stores that are often used to hold "seed beads". They are quite cheap and kind-of look like petri dishes. It might be an option for those who want the look but not the cost of a specialty lab products store.
ChrysN (author)  Cleo4203 years ago
Great idea! Thanks for the tip.
action pig3 years ago
As a fellow lab rat (E-coli and yeast cultures) I applaud this idea. Although I would hate to take work home with me...
canucksgirl3 years ago
That's just awesome!
ChrysN (author)  canucksgirl3 years ago
Thanks!
iceng3 years ago
Horrors of radioactive Doom barrel slick sticking to a Geek revisited :-o
ChrysN (author)  iceng3 years ago
Yes, perhaps I should have saved this one for Halloween.
sunshiine3 years ago
What an unusual idea! Thanks for sharing!
sunshiine
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Awesome!
"Mutant bacteria trying to escape" - love!