As today we might grow a sourdough culture at home, my dream is that we might one day grow bacterial nanocellulose, and evolvee or breed these cultures to suit whatever purposes we choose (to grow clothes, building materials or furniture). Of course, to be able to do this we would need a Kitchen/DIY meda, made from supermarket ingredients, in which Gluconoacteobacter xylinus would grow. This is our first attempt to make such a media at C-MOULD. The yield of nanocellulose is good but not as much as the synthetic media at the moment. An important first step though.
GXCELL is C-MOULD’s nanocellulose hyper producing strain. Here it has been cultured with sand to form a novel BioMaterial that might form the basis of a grown building.
Momento mori would be both a reminder and a warning for the devasting impact of bacterial diseases. In developed countries today, many of these illnesses are controlled by the use of antibiotic treatments and vaccination programs. However, these diseases still cause death on a massive scale in the developing world, and as antibiotic, and now vaccination resistant strains emerge, perhaps they will do so again in our modern cities. Momento mori will be a garment where each of the beautiful and coloured designs is actually made from an infamously pathogenic bacterium. The first design is this rose, made from Mycobacterium species, bacteria that cause tuberculosis and leprosy.
A plaque in Winchester Cathedral remembering the Britiish soldiers that died during the Crimean war. It’s very telling that more died of disease (Cholera was particularly prevalent) than they did directly in battle. Most of those that died from wounds probably did so because these were infected and such infections were usually fatal in the pre-antibiotic era.
I’ve begun a new project interweaving art and science with visual artist Jac Scott The focus of the Immortal Worlds? is on mapping this unseen world of methanogens and how climate change will impact on these major producers of methane. Here are some micoscopic glimpses of the salt water ecosystems that we have established
More videos of Volvox aureus “drawing” with indian ink
Only microorganisms with exceptional properties are deposited by C-MOULD. It’s curators (thats just me at the moment) search the world for these special life forms. Here’s one we have just found. Called CHITEX, it’s a very fast growing mould that forms an unusually thick and dense mat. Expect some tests for textiles made from this early in the New Year
The population of these fast moving protozoa in the hay infusion is blooming. Makes for a very busy pair of videos