foam

Activities > FoAM Kernow > Viruscraft

Viruscraft

In this project we ask - what determines the ability of a virus to infect some hosts but not others? Working with evolutionary biologist Ben Longdon, we're developing a citizen science project using visual programming, craft, tangible interfaces and games to explore virus host shifts – where a virus jumps from one host species to another.

concept-1c

Players will build virus genomes by drag-and-dropping collectable blocks representing viral genes; these will code for different traits like mode of transmission, virulence level and symptom types. Viruses created by players will jump between species on a ‘small planet’ with layers representing ecological niches (treetops, ground, aquatic) populated by different species of interacting hosts. Virus host shifts will depend on the ecological interactions and relatedness of hosts. Players will be able to mutate and compete their viruses to see how natural selection shapes virus evolution.

We launch with a workshop in April 2017 to co-research virus genetics and structure, and to use craft approaches to explore ways of building modifiable viral structures for informing the tangible interface design. Email us at kernow[at]fo.am if you'd like be involved.

The project runs from 2017-2022 and is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

v1
v2
v3
concept-3c
concept-2c
concept-1c
virus module
virus inards
virus
_MG_3001
_MG_2982
_MG_2977
_MG_2957
_MG_2938
_MG_2937
_MG_3010
_MG_3008
_MG_3000
_MG_2996
_MG_2993
_MG_2989
_MG_2984
_MG_2974
_MG_2968
_MG_2963
_MG_2961
_MG_2960
_MG_2952
_MG_2948

Viruscraft Workshop 1

The first workshop for Viruscraft is now complete – merging biologists with craft practitioners and researchers, we began to prototype a ...

FoAM digest - Spring 02017

The budding energy of early spring enticed us to bring out some vital news from across the FoAM network. The ...