Thursday, November 24, 2005

Bacterial photographs

Science Daily reports Using harmless genetically engineered E. coli bacteria instead of photo paper, students at UCSF and the University of Texas at Austin have created the first-ever living bacterial photographs. The photos were created by projecting light on "biological film" -- billions of genetically engineered E. coli growing in dishes of agar, a standard jello-like growth medium for bacteria.

This is interesting.
The work is published in this week’s issue of Nature (Nov. 24, 2005), devoted entirely to the emerging field of synthetic biology. The new field focuses on identifying genes that control key traits and then engineering microbes to activate the genes in novel combinations to create useful tools for medicine and technology. The students produced the innovative bacterial images and a bacterial camera as part of MIT's intercollegiate Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition. The project won "best part" for the genetically engineered light receptor developed by UCSF graduate students working with Chris Voigt, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UCSF and a leader in synthetic biology.

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