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Osmosis Originals: The Edge of Wonder

Challenge

Research into the human microbiome is exploding as scientists discover an ever-larger number of correlations between the populations of microorganisms that live inside us, and a wide range of diseases. We wanted to make a film that would provide an inspiring introduction to this new field that would be broadly accessible and visually stunning, without sacrificing scientific accuracy.  

Strategy

We began with a deep dive into the scientific literature, researching all of the known associations between changes to the microbiome and disease. We contacted experts in rheumatoid arthritis, gene sequencing and bioinformatics, cancer, autism, nutrition and obesity, and more. We thought carefully about how to visually depict organisms and processes that cannot be seen with the human eye.

Solution

Using human body art and sculpture combined with animation, and interviews with some of the foremost scientists in the field of microbiology, our film takes viewers through the vast universe of microscopic life that comprises over 99% of the DNA and between 50% to 90% of the cells in our bodies - and the epidemic rise of non-communicable diseases, from allergies to Alzheimers to cancer, that plague the developed world. Read more about this project on our blog.

"Astoundingly beautiful!"
John C Alverdy MD FACS Sarah and Harold Lincoln Thompson Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago

Behind the scenes

A short video vignette taking you behind the scenes of our first episode with body artist Trina Merry.