Sometimes if you can't decide what you want to be when you grow up, the best plan is to combine two things. That's what artist and former microbiologist Zachary Copfer has done, combining his fascination with science with his artistic streak to create a new form of art he calls "bacteriography."
The name bacteriography refers to the process in which Copfer creates images by using radiation to create designs in Petri dishes. The bacteria in the glowing images are E. coli that have been injected with genes that produce a fluorescent protein; the radiation creates sterilized patches that will become dark spots when the culture grows. The living bacteria then glows viewed under ultraviolet light.
The first few images you will see are created by this process and are part of his "Star Stuff" series inspired by Carl Sagan's famous term that refers to the idea that all living things are made of atoms that were once created in the stars.
Copfer also has a famous series he has created of portraits of famous artists and scientists. For this grouping he grew a red bacterium Serratia marcescens.
The series is an expression of how he sees his worlds of art and science colliding. He sees artists and scientists as being linked, and not as different as many may think. He used Picasso and Einstein as an example as quoted in LiveScience:
"Picasso and Einstein were working with the same idea, looking at three-dimensional space from different perspectives, Einstein from the Theory of Relativity and Picasso with cubism."
Copfer has many other interesting works of art and science, along with great descriptions of his process and what he was thinking with his pieces. It's worth a visit to his site.