Elegant Glass Sculptures of the World’s Deadliest Microbes

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Human Papillomavirus

Luke Jerram captures the elegance of microbes with his awe-inspiring glass microbiology sculptures. He created the viruses so that viewers can “contemplate the global impact of each disease.” Jerram consulted virologists from the University of Bristol to design the sculptures. They are made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch.

Here’s the complete description of his artwork from his website:

This body of glass work has been developed since 2004. Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks were created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery we receive through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light. By extracting the colour from the imagery and creating jewel like beautiful sculptures in glass, a complex tension has arisen between the artworks’ beauty and what they represent.

The Gallery

Ecoli

This is one of the largest and most fragile of Jerram’s sculptures. In 2011 it was on display at Glasstress, Venice. Editions of the artwork are currently on display in Barcelona at Cosmo Caixa Museum and in Oklahoma City Museum.

EColi

Malaria

These sculptures respresent the Malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum Merozoite). The smooth model shows the parasite just after it has entered a red blood cell. The spike malaria shows the Plasmodium before. See here for more information about the life cycle of Malaria.

Malari

Human Papillomavirus

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a member of the papillomavirus family of viruses that is capable of infecting humans. Like all papillomaviruses, HPVs establish productive infections only in the stratified epithelium of the skin or mucous membranes.

Human Papillomavirus

SARS Coronar Virus

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a serious form of pneumonia, caused by a virus isolated in 2003. Infection with the SARS virus results in acute respiratory distress (severe breathing difficulty) and sometimes death. It is a dramatic example of how quickly world travel can spread a disease. It is also an example of how quickly a networked health system can respond to an emerging threat.

SARS Corona Virus

More beautiful masterpieces at their website: Glass Microbiology | Luke Jerram

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