Virusflakes – Part 3

The final part of kestrel’s viral art project. Enjoy.

Hepatitis B Virus can actually be prevented with a vaccine:

© kestrel, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Hepatitis C Virus is a major cause of viral hepatitis. It was interesting to me that it looks nothing like Hepatitis B, it just seems to cause similar symptoms;

© kestrel, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Apparently, most people are infected with Rotavirus at least once by the age of 5 years:

© kestrel, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Herpes Simplex Virus was rated as “hard” and boy they were not kidding. This one I found the hardest to do and took the longest amount of time:

© kestrel, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. kestrel says

    Yeah, it’s funny how they are named and of course it’s got nothing to do with their appearance. I found that interesting.

    Someone came over to visit and asked me what I was going to do with these! She thought I should embed them in resin or something. I remember Gilliel made a table top of resin with shells… maybe a virus table top? Not sure I have the energy, I was just going to hang them in the window or something.

  2. invivoMark says

    Hey, there’s finally a herpesvirus! As a trained herpes virologist (Epstein-Barr virus was my thesis topic), I approve!

    I was curious how one might be represented as a snowflake. It looks like they’ve just gone for “squiggly shapes in the tegument, patterned shapes in the capsid.” That works, I suppose -- herpesviruses are kind of blobby shapes under most circumstances. They’re big viruses, with huge genomes that are packaged up around histones just like our own DNA. They lack the recognizable shapes that are seen in rotavirus, coronaviruses, or HIV.

    You are correct that hep B and hep C are very different. In fact, each of the hepatitis viruses from A to E belongs to a different family, and they are very different from one another. Virology nomenclature is a source of endless fascination, since we usually have to come up with names for things long before we have much of an understanding about them.

  3. kestrel says

    @invivoMark, #3: I was surprised at the different sizes. They had one, Mimivirus, that was perfectly huge. They have a page where they show relative sizes and sure enough Herpes Simplex is pretty big, but the biggest one they showed was Mimivirus.

    They are pretty fascinating, obviously I know very little about viruses but I can see it’s a whole world that could just swallow you up and consume your days. Really interesting. How cool that you are trained in that field.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    The hepatitis C virusflake shape would work as an ornament for a liquor bottle label.

    invivoMark @ 3

    I heard that Moderna is developing a mRNA-type vaccine for the Epstein-Barr virus. I wonder how that will go?

  5. says

    Casting these in resin would be probably a lot of work and expense, but I think they would work great behind a plexiglass, like my mother’s bobbin lace doilies. Hehe, I guess these patterns could be modified for making bobbin lace doilies too. Not that I am going to do it, it would be an absolutely unholy amount of work.

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