microbes

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with microbes



Design Science

Tiny Organisms Escape Life Under a Microscope in Oversized Puppets by Judith Hope

January 8, 2020

Grace Ebert

A bacteriophage puppet. All images © Judith Hope

The familiar faces of friendly puppets like Kermit and Elmo are missing from Judith Hope’s enlarged microbe creations that magnify the world’s tiniest organisms. A brown bacteriophage, commonly known as a virus, features six moveable legs powered by a hand-operated device, while a pink tardigrade stands upright and sways side-to-side. Sometimes referred to as a “water bear,” the tardigrade imitates a resilient animal who can survive in extreme conditions and is usually only .02 inches long when fully grown. The models originally were created for the Tatwood Puppets production of Microbodyssey, a visual experience utilizing puppetry and shadow theater to explore life under the microscope. You can watch a trailer for the microbe-based show on Vimeo, and see more of Hope’s handheld crafts on Instagram.

Tardigrade and bacteriophage puppets

A bacteria puppet with removable DNA

Common cold puppet

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Art Illustration Science

The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel: A Compendium of Colorfully Rendered 19th-Century Biological Illustrations

November 27, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

German biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel dedicated his life studying far flung flora and fauna,  drawing each of their peculiar specificities with an immense scientific detail. Haeckel made hundreds of such renderings during his lifetime, works which were used to explain his biological discoveries to a wide audience. In addition to these visual masterpieces, Haeckel also discovered many microbes, and coined several scientific terms commonly known today, such as ecology, phylum, and stem cell.

A new book from Taschen titled The Art and Science of Ernst Haeckel outlines the 19th-century artist-biologist’s most important visual works and publications across a hefty 704 pages. The compendium includes 450 drawings, watercolors, and sketches from his research, which was in large support of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Most notably the book contains the Kunstformen der Natur (Art Forms in Nature), a collection of 100 prints of varying organisms originally published between 1899 and 1904.

You can learn more about the collection of illustrations and Haeckel’s discoveries on Taschen’s website. (via Fast Co. Design)

 

 



Art

The Dense Microcosmic Worlds of Painter Robert S. Connett

January 19, 2016

Johnny Waldman

Robert S Connet - MICROVERSE II

“MICROVERSE II” (2015)

Since he was a child, Robert S. Connett was fascinated by nature. And not just any type of nature, but the tiny worlds that quietly exist without being discovered. They thrive under rocks and under microscopes and Connett was the kid who went out looking for them, bringing home everything from spiders and earwigs to snakes. This perhaps explains the self-taught painter’s equally fascinating worlds he conjures on a canvas, often in painstaking detail.

These “underworlds,” as Connett describes them, are often comprised of densely populated organisms. Some look like a droplet of seawater under a microscope. Others resemble a Where’s Waldo version of our amazing animal kingdom. Any could be a small square of Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” magnified hundreds of times.

The organisms are a combination of accurate depictions based on scientific observation, as well as plucked from the artist’s own mind. They are worlds that Connett himself would want to walk into and we can’t blame him! His most recent work—a total of 7 paintings—will be shown at the upcoming annual Los Angeles Art Show that runs from January 27 – 31, 2016. You’ll find Connett’s work at the Copro Gallery booth in a section aptly titled “Littletopia”. Many of his pieces are also available as prints. (via Hi-Fructose)

Robert S Connet - MICROVERSE II

detail of “MICROVERSE II” (2015)

Robert S Connet - MICROCOSMIC GARDEN

“MICROCOSMIC GARDEN” (2015)

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“MICROCOSMIC GARDEN,” detail

Robert S Connet - StarFish

“STAR FISH” (2015)

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Sea Flowers (2014)

 

 



Science

The Microbes on the Handprint of an 8-Year-Old After Playing Outside

June 7, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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We all know our bodies are home to countless millions of bacteria and microorganisms, but without seeing them with our bare eyes it’s almost impossible to comprehend. This petri dish handprint created by Tasha Sturm of Cabrillo College, vividly illustrates the variety of bacteria found on her 8-year-old son’s hand after playing outdoors. The print itself represents several days of growth as different yeasts, fungi, and bacteria are allowed to incubate.

It’s safe to say almost everything you see growing in this specimen is harmless and in many cases even beneficial to a person’s immunity, but it just goes to show why we sometimes it’s good to wash our hands. (via Ziya Tong)

 

 



Craft Science

New Cross-Stitched Microbes and Germs by Alicia Watkins

March 20, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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It’s been a year since we last stumbled onto these embroidered germs and microbes by Alicia Watkins (previously). Her comprehensive menagerie of microbial maladies has grown extensively. You can see much more in her shop.

 

 



Art Photography Science

Contemporary Artistic Arrangements of Microscopic Diatoms by Klaus Kemp

September 17, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Ever since exploring slides of arranged diatoms earlier this year from the California Academy of Sciences, I was left with one small question: how? Diatoms are tiny single-cell algae encased in jewel-like shells that are among the smallest organisms on Earth of which there are an estimated 100,000 extant species. How does one go about finding, capturing, cleaning, organizing, and arranging these artistic displays that are so small they are measured in microns?

One such person who asked these questions was Klaus Kemp who became fascinated by some of the earliest diatom arrangements dating back to the Victorian era. Kemp has since dedicated his life to the study and perfection of modern day diatom arrangements, and his works are among the most complex being made today. Filmmaker Matthew Killip recently sat down with Kemp and learned more about his process in this short film called the Diatomist.

 

 

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