View and Download

Download File (986 KB)

Publication Date



artists' books, Baker & Whitehill


Book and Paper

Student Status

Undergraduate student

Year of Graduation



Experimental and Foundation Studies

Faculty / Course

Judy Maloney; Design (Section 19)

Materials + Techniques

Binder's board, etched glass microscope slide, black pastel paper laser rastered and inked with white and fluorescent inks, spray paint

Student Narrative

This book discusses some of the technologies developed and discoveries made at the DeRisi Lab. The original Virochip was a slide with DNA sequences from all 22,000 known viruses printed on its surface. It functioned by dying a sample (often spinal fluid) with fluorescent dyes and washing it over the slide. Dyed DNA from the sample would bind to the corresponding printed sequences. (Virus DNA will also bind to its relatives or ancestors, meaning that the virus didn't have to be previously known to be described.) When the chip was scanned with lasers, the slide would "light up" where the DNA had stuck, allowing the virus to be identified. My book is packaged in a box styled after microscope slide storage boxes, with an engraved microscope slide set in the top representing the original Virochip. I have stylized the data output from the machines used in each case discussed and rendered them in fluorescent ink on the back of each paper "slide", and they glow under UV light.

Photo Credit

Hannah Nigro, PH 2023

Virochip Book



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.