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artists' books, Baker & Whitehill
Book and Paper
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
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.
Hannah Nigro, PH 2023
Menkov, Ani; Collections, Special; and Library, Fleet, "Virochip Book" (2021). 8th Baker & Whitehill Student Artists' Books Contest 2022. 25.