Kyle Bean Builds the Microbiome
You are more than your body.
We don’t say that as an inspiring statement to value more than your physical self (although, yes, that is true!), but because 1-2% of your body mass is actually self-contained bacteria. That’s right, there are pounds of bacteria buttering around in your body that you don’t create, but help you live your best life. These little buggers are referred to as a “Microbiome,” one of the hottest areas of study in human biology and the focus of a feature story in Dr. Oz The Good Life Magazine. The magazine invited Kyle Bean to help them explain how the microbiome work with his unique visual take on storytelling.
The microbiome affects every aspect of our bodies from top to bottom, from the brain to the gut. So, understandably, the magazine asked Kyle to bring each of those aspects to life. The visuals show off a human body, brain, and gut (replete with large and small intestines), put together by a million little pieces to represent each tiny resident. To create the images, Kyle sculpted the pieces by hand out of polymer clay before covering them in tiny beads. Then each of these objects were photographed against white so they could be inserted easily into the magazine. The results make the beads look like the building blocks of a function brain, gut, body, which is theoretically true. The implications of the research is that we need these mini invaders to work effectively, but how to make them work to our advantage still remains to be seen.
Until we understand our microbiomes enough to put them to work in new ways, it’s fun to remember that they’re busy working away doing… whatever it is that they do.