Thrush is something that most of us hate, but this bio-artist made thrush look good in a petri dish, and for good reasons.
Tarsh Bates has created a living piece of 'bio-art' by putting thrush on agar and feeding it with her own blood, controlling its growth pattern using a stencil-like template.
And her reason? She believes thrush and other microbes alike are misunderstood.
Officially known as Candida albicans — this yeast has a reputation for causing painful infections, especially in women.
But it is not our enemy, says Dr Bates, who has a background in biotechnology and contemporary art.
Candida only causes problems when it grows uncontrollably, for example if our immune system is suppressed. Otherwise, it is a common member of the human microbiome, which plays a role in keeping us healthy.
Tarsh Bates wants people to be acquainted with the microbiome inside us; that is, change our attitude towards the microbes inside us and know their importance in our bodies.
Image Credit: Steven Alyian/Tarsh Bates