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Delicate but deadly viruses exquisitely recreated out of blown glass

A stunning collection of blown glass  figurines exquisitely capturing some of the most deadly viruses and bacteria  known to man have been made so perfectly that some say they’re too frightening  to go near.

Seen blown up to one-million times their  original size, these crystal-clear, some almost wriggling replicas of HIV, E  Coli and Malaria to name just a few show the haunting diseases rarely seen in  such beautiful form.

Titled Glass Microbiology, the art work is  the product of U.K. artist Luke Jerram who dreamed up the collection with the  intent not to entirely frighten spectators but more of send a message of the  virus’ global impact.

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Delicate but deadly: A glass replica of the deadly E-Coli virus is seen one million times its true size as part of a startlingly beautiful collection of viruses made out of blown glass
A glass replica of the deadly E-Coli virus is seen one million times its true size as part of a startlingly  beautiful collection of viruses made out of blown glass
The HIV virus is seen
Captured: The HIV virus is seen left of Enterovirus 71, which is part of hand, foot and mouth disease
 The HIV virus is seen (top) of  Enterovirus 71, which is part of hand, foot and mouth disease
Every last detail: An exquisitely detailed reproduction of Malaria is seen here, with each image created with the help of UK virologist Andrew Davidson of the University of Bristol
An exquisitely detailed reproduction  of Malaria is seen here, with each image created with the help of UK virologist  Andrew Davidson of the University of Bristol

‘The reaction to the work really has been  quite amazing,’ Jerram told the BBC. ‘They’re obviously incredibly beautiful so  people are automatically attracted to things of beauty but when they realize  actually what they are there’s that element of sort of repulsion.

‘Some people feel as though they might get  infected if they touch them, which is quite nice,’ he added with a  smile.

Jerram worked closely with virologist Andrew  Davidson of the University of Bristol to ensure each model was mastered to the  closest details known to scientists.

Once sketched out, the images were sent to  professional glassblowers Kim George, Brian George and Norman Veitch for their  elaborate creation.

Appearing so realistic, down to the lack of  color due to their microscopic size’s relation to light, photographs of the  finished products have appeared in science text books and journals.

Despite this, some features may not be  perfectly exact, as Jerram notes.

Stunner: T4 Bacteriophage, Jerram's self-described most intricate and detailed glasswork to date is seen here but while it's surrounded by killers this virus has been used as an alternative to antibiotics in some places
T4 Bacteriophage, Jerram’s self-described most  intricate and detailed glasswork to date is seen here but while it’s surrounded  by killers this virus has been used as an alternative to antibiotics in some places
Lined up: Smallpox is seen left of a fictional futuristic virus, center, and the HIV virus, right
Smallpox is seen left of a fictional  futuristic virus, center, and the HIV virus, right
Swine flu is seen
Two versions of swine flu are seen
Two versions of swine flu, which became a  global pandemic in 2009 killing an estimated
284,500 people worldwide according  to the CDC, are seen beautifully displayed here

‘We have to piece together our understanding  by comparing grainy electron microscope images with abstract chemical models and  existing diagrams,’ he told the Smithsonian  Magazine.

Also in some places he admits the models may  be intentionally slightly different. Such is the case of his H1N1 virus model  which appears spikier simply to add to the finished product’s durability, not  for presentation’s sake.

Over time with scientists’ improvements with  technology and their understanding, he realizes he’ll have to make slight  changes to them, but that doesn’t appear to be of worry, only exciting  advancement.

Taking the smallpox disease for example, work  on that replica has had to be placed on hold after one Florida scientist’s  recent theory that it’s a bit different than others think.

‘He has published papers that show a very  different understanding of the internal structure. I now need to consider  whether to create a new model or wait until his model has become more widely  accepted by the scientific community,’ Jerram said.

Where to catch it: Jerram's work titled Glass Microbiology has been recently added to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection while also now touring in museums in Maryland and the U.K.
Jerram’s work titled Glass  Microbiology has been recently added to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s  permanent collection while also now touring in museums in Maryland and the  U.K.

Among Jerram’s loudest praise for his work,  and perhaps most interestingly, he reveals thanks from those directly suffering  from the viruses he beautifully recreates.

‘I’ve also had emails from people suffering  from HIV who have said that by looking at the art work you’ve made it’s given me  an appreciation of the viruses that are actually inside my body,’ he  said.

As one shared email on his website reads:  ‘Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me than any  photo or illustration I’ve ever seen. It’s a very odd feeling seeing my enemy,  and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so  beautiful.’

His work has been added to New York’s  Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection and is also now appearing in  New York’s Museum of Art and Design through April 7th as well as in Maryland’s  Strathmore Fine Art in Bethesda from February 16 to April 13.

Attribution:Nina Golgowski

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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