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So I’m not sure what happened, but my bacteriophage piece for Light Grey Art Lab seems to have acquired a wonderfully large amount of likes and reblogs and so on. Thanks!
However this super rad attention has garnered a few messages discussing its wild inaccuracies. As an artist who is aware of the basic (and I mean BASIC) science behind the piece I feel I have a responsibility to address these concerns.
I shall now do so as best I can because I love this sort of discussion AND because it’s giving me an excuse to brush up on the research in general!
First, I am to understand it is terribly unlikely that a bacteriophage would even be found in a human body let alone be an aggressor. Phage treatment would negate the concern over its presence in the body but I recognise this doesn’t resolve the issue of the attack.
Second, the scale is thoroughly off and I am fully aware of this. I opted to take creative liberty with the scale to create a more dramatic scene. This one is all on me and my use of composition as justification.
Those two points came up the most and to the other smaller queries I figure I’ll offer the basic concept behind the piece. Hopefully this will help clear it all up:
- Dangerous strain of E. Coli enters human body
(scientific accuracy: 9/10)
- Bacteriophage enters body to counteract E. Coli
(scientific accuracy: 3/10)
- Bacteriophage attacks E. Coli bacteria
(scientific accuracy: 8/10)
- Bacteriophage explodes E. Coli cell
(scientific accuracy: 6/10)
- Exploded bits become tiny E. Coli death monsters
(scientific accuracy: 1/10)
- White blood cells come onto the scene to clean up the mess
- E. Coli death monsters attack White Blood Cells (WBC)
- Bacteriophage becomes mad with power and also attacks WBC
- WBC now have to deal with a hot mess of trouble
So while I admit I knew that it wasn’t the most accurate depiction of microscopic warfare, I am sorry to be misrepresentative.
Oh another fun fact: I swapped the head and the butt of the bacteriophage.
And lastly if I continued to muck something up, feel free to send me some
hate mail kind words clearing the air!