Bacteria Sculptures Give Us Up-Close Look at the Microscopic World

It’s not everyday you get to see a Escherichia coli bacterium up-close and personal. But British artist Luke Jerram’s “Glass Microbiology” series brings the microscopic world into the limelight with sculptures designed to resemble viruses and bacteria.

To create each one, Jerram used images from an electron microscope and had guidance from virologist Andrew Davidson of the University of Bristol in England. “Scientists have to jump from what they can see [in the microscope] to what they know through chemical analysis, and then they have to piece together a kind of jigsaw,” Jerram says. He takes the scientists’ microscopy data and analysis a step further, transforming diagrams and images into three-dimensional models.

E. coli’s just the beginning. Also immortalized are HIV, SARS and even swine flu.

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