The above photograph, from 2007, shows a high-throughput cell culture robot. According to Wellcome Images: "Cells are cultured in the incubator on the right and the culture plates delivered via a robotic arm into the side of the biohazard hood. Once inside the hood, the computer-controlled robot can perform a variety of functions such as changing medium, collecting samples and picking colonies. Medium and other liquids are pumped into the movable heads from the bags on the left. This robot has been designed to facilitate the large-scale culture of embryonic stem cells needed to determine the function of genes identified during the human genome project."
This image is No. 8 of 8 in a series showing the evolution of medical instruments over time. The images are presented in collaboration with the London-based Wellcome Trust, whose library features visual collections with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.