CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Human brain tissue, stomach cells to adorn Epidemia clothing line

In an effort to bring some bling to the sciences, a medical student plans to use biological images to make a line of striking fitness apparel.

lung-xray-leggings.jpg
This pair of Epidemia leggings was created from the image of a lung X-ray. Epidemia

You've no doubt heard about wearing your heart on your sleeve, but what about wearing some brains on your legs? If a new clothing line called Epidemia now seeking funds on Kickstarter succeeds, that's pretty much what you'll be able to do.

Epidemia turns biological images like heart cells and neurons into striking patterned fabric. From that material, the company plans to make fitness apparel -- such as the leggings with which it's launching its campaign. Sports bras and tank tops will follow if Epidemia exceeds its $15,000 fundraising goal.

"The inspiration for Epidemia came from studying microscopic images in my biology lab course, as well as coming across similar images in an article I read about the history of epidemics," Lizzie Cochran, the creator of the line, told CNET's Crave. "I kept noticing how beautiful the images were."

The ambitious Cochran will attend medical school at the University of Texas San Antonio this year and plans to become a pediatric surgeon while simultaneously pursuing a masters in public health with a focus on global health issues. All that while launching her very own clothing line.

In addition to simply creating vibrantly patterned clothing, Cochran says the Epidemia line has other goals.

"My hope was that, by putting these images out there in a way that is commercially appealing to young people, we could make the sciences more interesting and accessible to youth, especially to girls who may see science as a primarily masculine field," she told Crave. "I want to show that science and art can work together to inspire change."

In addition, Cochran plans to give 15 percent of her profits to organizations that bring high-quality medical care to those who need it around the world -- especially in the form of vaccinations.

As for the images Epidemia will use, Cochran said they'll be purchased from science photographers. "There are some really incredible images available of everything from healthy heart tissue to viral cells of the Flu of 1918," she says. A designer will then turn those images into appealing patterns.

"We want the biological image to be discernible within the pattern, but we also don't want people to look at our products and think 'why do you have X-rays on your pants?'" she said. "It's a delicate balance between showcasing the innate beauty of the images and transforming them into patterns that are eye-catching and translate well into clothing."

At this point, the campaign has raised almost $7,000 with 14 days remaining. If you're interested in getting in on the action, a somewhat pricey pledge of $75 (about £51, AU$99) will get you a pair of leggings featuring the image of brain cells, nerve cells, heart cells or gut cells. If that's too much, $25 (about £17, AU$33) will get you a journal featuring an Epidemia pattern, and $50 (about £34, AU$66) will reserve a patterned case for either a Samsung or Apple phone.

gut-cell-leggings.jpg
The "She's Got Guts" pair of leggings are made from images of epithelial cells, such as those that line our stomachs and intestines. Epidemia