Polar deserts could provide first look at climate change effects in Antarctica. By Susan Meikle, university news and communications
Over the past few days Rachael and Parnell have been collecting samples to perform microscopy on. In preparation, we have stained these organisms so that certain parts of them, such as chitin, a common substance found in fungi, and peptidoglycan, a bacteria specific substance, will create a green color. Using a technique known as epifluorescence, we can then look at the shining stain (shown as green in the images) to see the outline of different microbes, akin to looking at a glowstick in a dark room. In the images you can also see red fluorescence, which comes from chlorophyll, which is commonly contained in organisms such as cyanobacteria and algae.