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Shiny and Deadly: Viruses As Blown Glass

Not all that glitters is gold


That, right there, is smallpox. At least, that is what it would look like if magnified a million times and rendered in blown glass. Pretty, isn’t it? In a “wow-if-that-was-real-that-would-obliterate-an-entire-country” kind of way. Glass blower Luke Jerram is responsible for this work of deadly beauty, and was inspired by magnified visualizations of viruses and wanted to try his hand in his chosen medium. He received assistance from virologists in making these, who must have been tickled at how pretty disease can look when shiny.

Avian Flu: While it’s rare among humans, avian flu kills 60 percent of those infected with it.

E. coli: The current outbreak of E. coli in Germany has sickened about 3,000 people and has affected mostly women for unknown reasons.

HIV: HIV/AIDS kills about 2 million people worldwide annually and was first discovered in 1981.

T4 Bacteriophage: A virus that infects bacteria, especially E. coil, by injecting its own DNA into the bacteria, instructing it to make replicas after subverting its host’s operations. In other words, this is the Cyberman of viruses.

“Look, don’t touch” has never rung more true.

(Visual News)

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