Microbes and art: Danino and Goodsell

Two beautiful examples of the intersection of microbes and art:A Synthetic Biologist’s Beautiful Palette of Bacteria Art – Noémie Jennifer – The Creators Project

Tal Danino grows various strains of bacteria into detailed, microscopic patterns that pull you in close. During a recent residency at Eyebeam in New York City, he researched how bacteria could be used as inks in various printing processes, like silkscreening or stamping. The resulting series of works, Microuniverses, is a marriage of nature and engineering—in the artist’s words, “you can control these patterns, but then they evolve on their own.” The concept of “controlling universes” is part of Danino’s day job. As the director of the Synthetic Biological Systems Laboratory at Columbia University, Danino is figuring out how to program bacteria so it can detect and treat diseases in our bodies.


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It’s The Zika Virus In Action, Drawn By A Scientist-Artist – Maggie Zackowitz – NPR

A watercolor by scientist-artist David S. Goodsell just might make the Zika virus easier to visualize. The painting, which depicts an area about 110 nanometers wide (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter), shows the virus in the process of infecting a cell. (…) Of course the comic book-bright structures shown in the painting aren’t so simple and colorful in real, microscopic life. “These things are actually smaller than the wavelength of light, so they don’t really have a color,” Goodsell says. He chose his own color palette to highlight the function of each component — and to make them look beautiful.

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