Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Oh, Rats!

The title of this blog post is also the title of a recent podcast episode from Big Picture Science. I can highly recommend the episode, which looks at the reasons and ways in which we use laboratory rats to tell us more about ourselves.

The whole Kingdom of the Blind project began with rats, because Dr Adam Hamlin was feeding them beer (apparently they prefer Coopers to VB) and other drugs in his experiments on addiction and desire. When he showed me the beautiful fluorescent images he was making of the reactions in their brains, I was inspired to create embroidery artworks that both replicate the microsope images and explore the meaning of the research.

Dr Hamlin moved on to investigating Alzheimer's disease in mice, and currently he is using mice to learn more about how rye grass toxins affect livestock. I'm still working on embroideries that are based on his research and that of his colleagues.

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