Even Cancer Has an Artistic Touch, Stefanie Reichelt Helps Prove That

by Tanya Thomas on Sep 8 2008 9:10 AM

Unique, with maybe a touch of weirdness to it! That’s what comes to mind when you hear about Stefanie Reichelt, a scientist at Cambridge Research Institute who’s letting her colors and cancer cells do the talking! Yes, even cancer has an artistic side to it!

Stefanie thinks that cancer cells are beautiful, and her love for living cells is evident from the fact that she believes that when viewed under a microscope, all parts of the human body - from chromosomes to sperm - are visually arresting.

While she heads the microscopy laboratory, she also has an artistic streak. She was so taken with the beauty of the images produced by her team, which were artificially stained with a number of vibrant colors to highlight certain features, that she started to make a collection of etchings based on the microscopic vistas.

The pictures focus on uncontrolled cell division during cancer, leading to the formation of tumors.

Reichelt's work is being showcased at the institute, even though the pictures do not always generate a positive response.

"People sometimes say 'Oh no, pictures of cancer cells, that's horrible.' But then they see that they are actually very beautiful," Times Online quoted her, as saying.

The exhibition is free and runs until September 30, at ArtCell, the art gallery at Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Research Institute.