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Art and Science

Exploring the microbiome through art

The rapid advancement in scientific technologies and innovations could easily seem like fiction to the casual observer. It seems that each day gives us new examples in which a future could be imagined where we have the capabilities to radically transform human life in a laboratory.  Embodying these concepts, and pushing the boundaries of science are central themes present in a recently growing field of art called Bio- or Sci-art, art works created using scientific processes. In contrast, a new type of medicine is being embraced by the medical field, which uses music, dance, and painting in the rehab and care of patients.  Despite these successful examples of art and science merging together, the relationship between biomedical research and art hasn’t been quite as successful. Biomedical-art relationships tend to ask dynamic and existential questions, such as ‘what constitutes life’, ‘what is a human being’ and ‘who are we.’  While interesting, these science-based art projects do not often include research for the sake of science. In addition to using bio-art as a means to communicate with the public, it is our aim to use art to advance our science through our program called Vivo Art, which is partially funded by the Kenneth Raining Foundation.  Using art allows us to think outside of the box and to create hypothesis-based questions or to find answers to questions in bio-medical research that have been otherwise unsolvable using traditional scientific processes.