Invisible Worlds: Synthetic Antibiotics

Invisible Worlds brings the unseen into focus through illuminating science-based works of art. The exhibition unveils the results of a collaboration between NC State University scientists and designers and The Leading Strand, an organization that uses design to shine a light on breakthroughs happening in science.

Six groups of collaborators from NC State’s College of Sciences and College of Design teamed up to create stunning visual and interactive designs to help the public:

  • Step into the furry shoes of a little-known aye-aye lemur
  • Manipulate the speed of physical phenomena
  • Feel the intricate networks of soft condensed matter
  • Better understand optimized cancer therapy
  • Experience the mysteries of dark matter
  • Build and test synthetic antibiotics.

opening date:
may 18 2018 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

location: transfer co. 500 e. davie st. raleigh, nc 27601

Invisible Worlds: Synthetic Biology
How can we synthesize the tools to fight antibiotic resistant pathogens?

chemists:  Gavin Williams with Jessie Garcia, Rachael Hall, and Monique Reid
designers:  Lee Cherry and Patrick Fitzgerald with Stephen Waddell

Early ideation and visual inspiration.

Early ideation and visual inspiration.

In this piece, you can join the fight against antibiotic resistant pathogens by designing synthetic antibiotics. Select the right functional groups and components parts and then test how well your creation fares inside the bio chamber.

Stephen Waddell prototyping the game.

Stephen Waddell prototyping the game.

Antibiotic resistant pathogens infect over 2 million people in the US every year and the CDC published a report in April 2018 documenting over 220 instances of germs with “unusual” antibiotic resistance inside the US. Researchers at the Williams Lab are developing a genes-to-molecules synthetic biology pipeline for the synthesis, diversification, and discovery of new-to-Nature molecules — using molecules from Nature as a platform for drug discovery. By studying how Nature constructs antibiotics and by learning how to reprogram Nature to make new versions of them, the Williams Lab is helping us defend against some of the most dangerous pathogens threatening humanity.

further readings