Extra Credit: Microbial Worlds

  1. Mysterious Underground, Mycorrhizae’ — Collaboration by Charlotte Bird and Ree Nancarrow

The concept behind this piece was to illuminate the story of the symbiotic relationship between fungi and vascular plants in the coastal and boreal forests. I find this piece to be so esthetically pleasing. The amount of detail that these artists include in the piece is truly admirable. I really enjoy how they chose a quilt to depict this microbial relationship. When I think of a quilt, I think of all of the interconnecting stitching which contribute to the entire piece overall. In a similar fashion, the microorganisms present underneath the grounds surface together work to create that particular habitat. I do feel that these artists were successful in expressing this particular relationship based on the little knowledge of what the underground truly looks like.

  1. Veiled Unveiled’ — Mariah Henderson and Eric Henderson

The idea behind this particular piece was to depict the concept of invisible microorganisms. Although the discovery and analysis of microbial organism has been greatly aided by the microscope, there are still numerous organisms that are unseen due to their transparent bodies. I found this piece to be very aesthetically pleasing due to the vibrant dye that was added to this particular media to unveil the microbial growth. I feel that this piece directly relates to the importance of staining in a laboratory setting in order to better visualize the microbes present.

  1. The Prokaryotes’ — Mariah Henderson and Eric Henderson

Consistently throughout the semester we have referred back to the tree of life depicting the phylogenetic relationship between the three major domains of life. It is often assumed that Eukaryotes are the most abundant and diverse domain on Earth. As we quickly learned in this course, prokaryotic life forms, including Bacteria and Archaea, greatly outnumber this taxon. The piece created really emphasizes the great diversity present in this domain of life and how they are evolutionarily connected through this phylogenetic tree.

  1. If I were an artist involved in this project, I would have focused on the human microbiome and its affect on human health by constructing a collage or perhaps through a poem.

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