‘Glass Microbiology’ Magnifies Viruses, Bacteria, and Other Organisms to 1 Million Times Their Actual Size

“AstraZeneca vaccine.” All images © Luke Jerram, shared with permission

Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram (previously) continues to add delicate specimens to his Glass Microbiology collection. The ongoing project is a collaboration with scientists at the University of Bristol, who aid Jerram in scaling three-dimensional renderings of avian flu, papillomavirus, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, and other tiny organisms into sculptures approximately one million times their actual size. Transparent and impeccably detailed, the models are designed to showcase the structures of each microbe without distorting the viewer’s perception with non-existent colors, which are often used to distinguish various parts in illustrated renderings.

Jerram documents the process behind his swine flu sculpture in the video below, which begins with two artists hand-blowing the larger structure. The team then shapes hundreds of individual proteins that will later be fused to the virus’s exterior. Find more of the scientifically minded project on the Glass Microbiology site, and follow Jerram’s latest works on Instagram.


“Avian Flu 2012”

“EV1 (Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease)”

Detail of “AstraZeneca vaccine”



Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!

Source: Art -


With a Trio of Exhibitions in Paris, Philippe Starck Reflects on the Renewed Enthusiasm for His Radical Designs of the 1980s

Architects take on World Pride 2023