Welcome to The Turbid Plaque

Phage plaques on a lawn of bacteria.

In 1915, the director of a veterinary hospital in London was trying to grow viruses in his lab. At the time, researchers had a general idea that viruses were some kind of ultra-small microbes. They caused diseases, but could pass through filters fine enough to remove all known bacteria. Unfortunately, nobody had figured out how to culture them. The veterinary hospital director, a physician named F. W. Twort, decided to use a brute-force approach. He tried every growth medium he could come up with: mixtures of plant and seed extracts and all sorts of broths, along with various combinations …read more