Painting Mutant Bugs

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Cornelia Hesse-Honegger is a researcher who is attracted to bugs—especially the malformed and mutated kind. Looking at the insects through a microscope, she takes days or even months to paint their texture, color and measurements as precisely as possible. As many scientists are quick to judge art as subjective, her piece for Nautilus discusses the unique perspective she’s had as an artist in observing nature, like the deformed insects she found in Sweden and Switzerland—demonstrating that even at such a distance from Chernobyl, relatively low levels of radiation are still impactful.