These beautiful glass sculptures by artist Luke Jerram are of germs.
Glass sculpture of the H1N1 influenza virus (Swine Flu) by Luke Jerram
According to Luke's website, he makes them of colorless glass as a commentary about the liberties scientific artists take with colors when making representations of these organisms. For example, a standard drawing you might see in class might look like this
In reality, none of those parts may have any color at all, and certainly not as visually pleasing (or well-labeled).
While I personally appreciate the use of color in biological drawings for learning purposes, I am still left speechless at the 3-dimensional beauty of these works. They leave any drawing or model in a textbook in the dust.
Glass sculpture of E. coli by Luke Jerram
Digitally colored 3D model of E. coli
Glass sculpture of the SARS Corona virus by Luke Jerram
The artist has a clear point to his work, one that I can definitely see the purpose in, and his execution of the idea is so beautiful as to leave us speechless. Simply amazing.
(All glass microbe pictures from LukeJerram.com and used with the artist's permission)