The Lab Model

November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Lab Model (BUZZ/3.5) 

Preliminary sketch for painting. There will be three paintings in this series: of a dog, a cat and a mouse. All will be painted at approximately life size.

An animal model is a living, non-human animal used during the research and investigation of human disease, for the purpose of better understanding the disease without the added risk of causing harm to an actual human being during the process. The animal chosen will usually meet a determined taxonomic equivalency to humans, so as to react to disease or its treatment in a way that resembles human physiology. Many drugs, treatments and cures for human diseases have been developed with the use of animal models. Many (but not all) laboratory strains are inbred, so as to make them genetically almost identical. The different strains are identified with specific letter-digit combinations; for example C57BL/6 and BALB/c.

Although some (but not all) of us might be comfortable with the use of rats and mice for this purpose, I felt that the idea of visually transposing this concept – through the use of a little modified colouring – onto my own pet Labrador might be worthy of investigation.

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Trichuris trichiura

November 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Trichuris trichiura (first version)

Trichuris trichiura (second version)

Preliminary sketches for drawing to measure 1.5m x 1.5m.

The human whipworm (Trichuris trichiura or Trichocephalus trichiuris) is a roundworm, which causes trichuriasis when it infects a human large intestine. The name whipworm refers to the shape of the worm; they look like whips with wider “handles” at the posterior end. The long ‘lash’ of the whip burrows into the cells lining the intestine, thus creating a particularly intimate relationship between parasite and host …

There is a worldwide distribution of Trichuris trichiura, with an estimated 1 billion human infections. However, it is chiefly tropical, especially in Asia and, to a lesser degree, in Africa and South America. Poor hygiene is associated with trichuriasis as well as the consumption of shaded moist soil, or food that may have been fecally contaminated. Children are especially vulnerable to infection due to their high exposure risk.

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