Art Project

The diversity of the microbial world is not only astounding, but awe inspiring. Life as we know it would not be possible without this vast microbial community and oxygenating our atmosphere, cycling our nitrogen, and fixing our carbon. These and so many other processes, allow us to inhabit this Earth and continue to thrive. However, there is still the <1% of microbes which are classified as pathogenic to humans. These microbes, do not help our quality of life but rather, can cause disease and death in our populations.

 

Since 2015 the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) publishes a yearly list of pathogens. These pathogens are those which have been identified to pose the greatest public health risk due to their “epidemic potential and for which there are no, or insufficient, countermeasures.’ (World Health Organization, 2018). The pathogens which are the subjects of my portrait collage are those of the 2018 R&D Blueprint List of priority pathogens. (https://www.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/en/)

For my art project I have done small portraits of the pathogens listed by the W.H.O.. It should be noted that these are in no particular order. All of these pathogens are in need of further analysis as well as analysis for treatment methods which would be imperative for stalling an outbreak. One should also note that there is a “Disease X’ within this collage. There is no true disease called Disease X, but rather the potential that an as of yet unknown pathogen that could cause widespread disease epidemics is out there. It is my hope that even though my artistic abilities and nudges to 70’s rock bands may not be the best, they can introduce this information to a broader audience. Since not everyone spends their free time looking at the W.H.O. website.

-Samantha Smith

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