IVP1: Drawing Machine
Defining “machine” and “drawing”:
A machine here is distinguished as a mechanism to transform data input into a visual representation. The machine receives quantitative numerical input and transforms it into an image displaying only the qualitative characteristics of the data. Drawing is defined as the output of the machine. The images produced are fabricated locations and scenes and the machine produces them itself. Pathogenicity of the neurotropic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is transformed into landscapes.
How the Machine Functions:
Cryptococcosis is caused by a fungal pathogen and affects more people in Sub-Saharan Africa than Tuberculosis. One characteristic linked to its virulence and subsequent pathogenicity is the yeast’s capsule production. This encapsulated form serves as valuable protection against the host immune response. There are two varieties of the yeast: grubii and neoformans. They differ in the population they tend to infect the most. Neoformans characteristically affects singularly immune compromised patients, while grubii has the capacity to infect the immune competent in addition. The machine functions as an interface of pathogenicity of a particular strain and its representation in visual form.
The machine first is attached to a Zeiss fluorescent microscope, and a representative population of the culture is placed inside. The machine measures the capsule to total cell size ratio of each cell. Additionally, florescent tagging is utilized on the grubii varieties to identify them.
Taken From: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_FwBxHtQx2MI/SKZnnjZMJ0I/AAAAAAAAAGg/hldJqcfk7Qc/s320/Cryptococcus_neoformans_India_ink_stain.jpg
After calculating capsule ratio and distinguishing variety, the machine outputs a landscape image. The horizon line is the division between cell size and capsule size. Sky represents capsule, while land or water is representative of the rest of the cell. Presence of water within the landscape indicates var. grubii, while absence represents var. neoformans. Intensity of color represents the overall virulence of the strain according to collected data, with the most vivid color scheme being the highest risk pathogen.
Traditional representations of nature reference its vastness, uncontrollable demeanor, and underestimated ability to cause destruction. These same characteristics describe infectious diseases as well. Millions of yeast cells can be found in a single sample of CSF, no consistently effective treatment has been found for a number of pathogens, and organisms so unfathomably small are more powerful than many multicellular organisms. I thought it would be very effective to convey this parallel in my machine’s drawings.
Three Products of the Machine:
I took photographs for the products of the machine as this machine is not yet functional.
Var. neoformans with small capsule. Most likely from an environmental source. Relatively faded appearance demonstrates how the variety only affects the immune-compromised
Var. Grubii with average capsule production for its strain.
Var. Grubii with large capsules and vibrant colors. Most deadly pathogen of the set.