Product Idea

Bacteriophage

Science! The bacteriophage, known as phage among friends. The virus that hacks into the inner mechanics of bacteria tricking them into replicating the phage instead of themselves. And without bacteria nearby, it crystallizes. Is it a living organism or is it a mechanical contraption, nature's own nano-robot?

I'm furious that I learned about these creatures only recently. They deserve every child's attention, young and old, on par with dinosaurs and distant galaxies.

Working on this model, I was baffled to discover stable pentagonal and hexagonal structures in LEGO. Being a mere mathematician, and no microbiologist, I found this quite intriguing. The head of the phage is an icosahedral structure, just like the real phage. It is built around two pentagons inside. Extensive testing has been provided by two 6-years olds (who admittedly tend to refer to the model as "the moon man" when playing), and the head can be tossed around quite a bit without breaking.

The colours were picked from what I was able to get hold of and I fancy the idea of an awesome dark green/dark orange colour scheme. Parts count about 300.

Tip: to see actual images of these things, type "micrograph bacteriophage" into a search engine.

Recommended reading: Life in our phage world, by Forest Rohwer et al, published by Wholon.