Anti-vaccination movement is a hot topic these days. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently sponsored a series of artworks, named The Art of Saving a Life, in order to overcome the fear of vaccination. One of these artworks, called Flowers, creates beautiful wallpapers out of smallpox vaccine.

Designed by Vik Muniz and Tal Danino, Flowers uses livers cells treated with smallpox vaccine in order to create floral patterns. With the MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia, the artists base their work on the same method used for their previous project called Colonies (pictured below). In order to make these images,they create a silicon stamp of the pattern. Then, this stamp is placed on a petri dish coated with collagen. When cells are added to the dish, they stick only to the collagen around the silicon stamp, thus creating the patterns.

muniz_0002_Layer-3Danino is hoping this artwork might have practical implications in science for studying spatial and temporal behaviors of cells. “There is a danger to working with pathogens and cancer cells in the lab, but we have rigorous safety standards and practices to minimize risk” he said. For more information on the making of the project, you can check the video below.

Story and images via Wired

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