New Artist in Town – Genetically Modified E.Coli Bacteria Recreate Artwork In Color

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In Massachusetts, MIT synthetic biologists integrated 18 genes into E.coli to make the bacteria “see” red, green, and blue colors and react to the colors to recreate artwork. With the genetic modification, the bacteria use their biological light sensors to see the images that researchers projected onto their plates for 18 hours. E.coli reacted by changing their pigments or fluorescent proteins to match the colors they visualize. The results look similar to a color copier image, only instead of using ink on paper, it is bacteria. Researchers see this development being used in a variety of applications like to build tissues or materials, control cells or communicate between electronic and biological systems. Check out the impressive artwork made by E.coli in their testing and demonstrations.