From io9: Even more microbial art "Bacterial communities swarm into gorgeous works of art"

Another quick post.  There is an article in io9 about art from Eshel Ben-Jacob and his beloved Paenibacillus: Bacterial communities swarm into gorgeous works of art.  Some pretty cool images there of these organisms grown on plates and then artistically enhanced.

Definitely worth a look.

Must read of the week: For Better Science Meetings, Invite an Artist The Finch and Pea

Art by @artologica in my living room

This is just such a good idea: For Better Science Meetings, Invite an Artist | The Finch and Pea.  Michelle Banks, also known as artologica, writing at The Finch and the Pea, goes through a detailed argument, with examples, of why one should invite artists to science meetings.

I have been inspired by Michele at many meetings.  And I have been inspired by her art with a science theme (see for example the posts listed below).

I have written a bit here and there about the mixing of science and art.  See for example

But if you read one thing about science and art – read Michele’s new post.  Or, even better, start inviting artists to any science conference you have any role in.

The human microbiome never looked so good

Another week, another microbial art project — this one is from Erno-Erik Raitanen who is creating self portrait “bacteriograms” using his own microbiome.  See stories at Petapixel: Photographer Erno-Erik Raitanen Creates ‘Self-Portraits’ Using His Own Bacteria and CoCreate: INSTAGERMS: SEE A PHOTOGRAPHER’S STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS OF HIS OWN BACTERIA

From CoCreate

“The process itself is pretty much a replication of the processes used in microbiology to cultivate bacteria on agar in petri dishes,” Raitenan says. “Instead of agar, I just used the film gelatin as my growth medium. As the bacteria grows, it consumes the gelatin layers that together make all the colors in a color photograph, and creates all these random patterns and colors.”

The human microbiome never looked so good …

This is both crazy and completely brilliant: The Microbial Academy Of Sciences

Oh My God.  This is so wild and crazy I can’t just write OMG – I have to write the whole thing out: The Microbial Academy Of Sciences: What Bacteria Can Discover That We Can’t | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

The article describes an art exhibition in San Francisco in which one part involves giving microbial cultures access to images from space.  The reason for this is possibly captured in this quote

“Because cyanobacteria can perform photosynthesis,” Keats says, “they’ll be able to detect patterns of starlight just as human scientists do with their eyes. The difference will not be in their methodology, but rather in the conclusions they reach.”

and even better

But in all those eons, bacteria have never been given observatory access, to study the cosmos for themselves. … My observatory is built to address that unfortunate oversight, providing the resources for colonies of bacteria to research a theory of everything, reconciling cosmic and quantum observations in their own bacterial way.”

I know some hard core scientists may object to this and some of the other lines by the artist but I personally think this is brilliant (in a devious way but brilliant nevertheless).   Everyone out there should read this article by Morgan Clendaniel.  And I for one and going to try to go to the exhibit ASAP.  I personally cannot believe I have not heard of this yet since it seems to have opened in January …

Microbial & Evolution art by @artologica has whole new meaning now that I met her at @scio12

Art Meets Science at the Keck Center in DC

Some nice science-art on display at the Keck Center where I was for a NAS/IOM meeting today.  Here are some pics.

Evolution pumpkins – from Darwin to Woese

OK I know I am a geek, but I do think these came out pretty well …

“I think” in honor of Darwin

Woese Tree of Life

So psyched. Got my new artwork from @artologica …. Even better than I imagined from web pics

 Art by Michelle Banks.  Check out her store