Mutation Station for Science Lab


#Installation/ Moving Image

Year: 2022

Exhibition: Ocean Leisure London

Collaborators:
Aijia Wang,
Amy Cutler,
Ting-yu Lee,
Ke Peng,
Qing Wang



POD (Participatory Ocean Sensitive Design) is a collaborative, socio-environmental game that generates responses to plausible climate change scenarios through systems-oriented thinking and making.  Mutation Station for Science Lab is an art response to climate emergency from the perspectives of ocean bacteria and eels in this project.
We envisioned a new mutated symbiosis that could occur in 2027. A luminescent biofilm formed on mutated eels by various kinds of ocean bacteria will protect the eels from ocean pollutions, for example, some bacteria have the ability of purifying water. In return, eels’ mobility, together with the luminescence that the bacteria create, will help the bacteria convey their experimental compositional information and manifesto to humans.

From the human perspective, the narrative goes as follow:

In the process of standard May eel monitoring, a simultaneous discovery was made of several mature yellow and silver eels with unusual glowing markings and blue gills. Closer analysis of these specimens showed that these eels were carriers of a new set of organised batch cultures of specific bacteria.

There are three main types: the blue cyanobacteria, the only bacteria capable of oxygenic photosynthesis, are found on the bony operculum above the gills; the luminescent Aliivibrio fischeri form the distinct glowing patterns across the eels' body; almost following these patterns, mucosal colonies of Ideonella sakaiensis are found alternating with colonies of the alkane-degrading bacterium Alcanivorax borkumensis. It is unusual to see free swarming bacteria in such structured patterns. More commonly associated with marine environments, the presence of these bacteria as an experimental biofilm on a stock of wild silver eels has a potentially very positive outlook for the fate of these organisms.

The dissemination of these new patterned eels may well have a significant impact on the water cultures across the entire Gulf Stream and the Thames tidal area in which the eels are most vulnerable, due to the survival risk in polluted waters as well as the limit on silver eel escapement routes. These new bacterial organisations may be an unprecedented step in learning about dealing with several anthropogenic, oceanic and climatic factors using the new propensities of this eel biofilm for self-cleaning waters, combining self-sufficient and environmentally benign colonies and finally taking a big step towards new forms of bioremediation of contaminated environments.

Scientists have established the Mutation Station for Science Lab to further investigate the discovery and the potential usage.

POD(参与式海洋敏感设计)是一个合作性的社会环境游戏;参与者通过系统导向的思考和制作,从而设计出对应对未来气候变化情景的方案。《科学实验室的基因突变站》我们是在POD项目中,从海洋细菌和鳗鱼的角度对气候紧急情况的艺术回应。

我们设想了一个可能在2027年发生的新的变异共生关系。不同的海洋细菌或多或少会有不同的能力应对海洋中的变化,例如一些海洋细菌能净化海水中的油污。利用这些特性,各种海洋细菌在鳗鱼的皮肤上形成了发光的生物膜,将能在受污染严重的水域中有效地保护鳗鱼。而作为回报,鳗鱼出色的移动能力,加上一些细菌的发光特征,海洋细菌群体对于人类实验性的信息、宣言将能被传达。

从人类的角度,事情的经过如下:

在五月的鳗鱼监测过程中,科学家同时捕获了几条成熟的、拥有不同寻常发光标记及蓝色鳃的黄鳗和银鳗。通过对这些标本的仔细分析,他们发现这些鳗鱼是一组有组织、批量培养的特定细菌携带者。

主要有三种类型的细菌:蓝细菌 —— 唯一能够进行含氧光合作用的细菌,存在于鱼鳃上方的骨厣上;发光的Aliivibrio fischeri细菌形成了横跨鳗鱼身体的发光图案;顺着这些图案看,粘膜上的Ideonella sakaiensis细菌菌落与 能将烷烃降解的Alcanivorax borkumensis细菌菌落交替出现。一般来说,能见到如此结构化排布的细菌是非同寻常的。而从海洋生态的角度,这样出现在特定族群的高度结构化生物膜对于该生物种群无疑有着无比积极的意义。

这样的新发现很可能对整个湾流和泰晤士河潮汐区的水域产生重大影响:由于在污染水域生存的风险以及某些恶劣环境对银鳗迁移路线的限制,此前银鳗在这些地方是十分脆弱的。若能有效利用这些生物膜上自给自足的细菌组织,一些受污染的水域将得以实现自我净化,在海洋生态的生物修复研究上迈出一大步。

为此,科学家们建立了科学实验室的基因突变站,以进一步调查这一发现与其潜在用途。








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