Hand Drawn with pigmented archival ink on acid free paper, ORIGINAL IS AVAILABLE. Please use the Contact Form below to inquire. Purchase a giclee of Bacteriophage Ballet (opens a new page)
Bacteriophage ballet takes the ideas that would go into a diagram about viruses invading a bacterium, and abstracts them to create a fantasy landscape of dancing phages. The drawing was inspired by a long-term collaboration with the Goldberg lab at Tufts Medical School. Their team was focused on phages that looked like little alien spaceships, with little nanoscale landing gear. The landing gear were made up of crystalline protein structures called “tail fibers” (primarily cross beta sheet protein crystals). Their team was trying to re-engineer the tail fibers for use in a variety of nanotechnology applications. I was providing some Physics and Chemistry insights and also taking pictures in the electron microscope (the TEM, because little toy SEMs won’t work). We had to verify that the structures and the engineered changes had happened to these tiny fibers by taking very high magnification and resolution pictures. So in a sense, bacteriophage ballet expresses my appreciation of all things phage and is also a reflection on the years long dance that my collaborators and I danced with these tiny viruses.
- Viruses can have immune systems: A pirate phage commandeers the immune system of bacteria (sciencedaily.com)