Bio-artist uses bacteria and antibiotics to color textiles

| November 27, 2013
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Image via io9.
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

At first glance, this quilt might seem like any other. But it has been colored using the deadly and mysterious MRSA virus. The quilt was made by bio-artist Anna Dumitriu, who uses deadly bacteria and antibiotics to color textiles in an attempt to challenge the relationship between humans and bacteria.

As part of her artist’s residency on the UK Clinical Research Consortium Project, “Modernising Medical Microbiology” at the University of Oxford, Dumitriu has been developing her MRSA Quilt and Infective Textiles projects. She works with microbiologists to create works that communicate the impact of new technologies in the field. Like many quilts, her MRSA Quilt is meant as a storytelling endeavor. The quilt squares are made using natural and clinical antibiotics on Chromogenic (pigment-generating) agar in which the fabric has been embedded and inoculating the squares with bacteria, creating patterns that reflect the interaction between bacteria and antibiotics. The quilts are embroidered with thread dyed with saffron as well as with the antibiotic Vancomycin.

Watch the video below to see the artist describe some of her textile projects in her own words:

Read the full, original story here: Bio-artist colors textiles with deadly bacteria and antibiotics

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The GLP featured this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. The viewpoint is the author’s own. The GLP’s goal is to stimulate constructive discourse on challenging science issues.

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