Chris Voigt Has Created "Living Photographs" Made of E. Coli Bacteria

Chris Voigt Has Created "Living Photographs" Made of E. Coli Bacteria

The inventors of photography probably would have never fathomed of attempting what Chris Voigt and a team at MIT have accomplished: creating high-resolution images out of living bacteria. These scientists have put their brains to expressing their creative outlets through a very technical form of art.

By altering the genetic makeup of a harmless strain of E. coli, Voigt's team has been able to cause the bacteria to show a black pigment when in the dark and to remain invisible under red light. Using knowledge of this set of traits, the scientists put the microscopic living beings inside a petri dish where they were exposed to a light pattern depicting an image. The E. coli reacted appropriately, and revealed impressive, recognizable images.

Voigt described the precision of his work in a 2005 article in Nature and said, "Our living photographs are a somewhat playful example of how devices quite useful to technology and medicine can be created in the new field of synthetic biology. We estimate that the resolution of these photographs is about 100 megapixels, or about 10 times better than high-resolution printers."

[via PSFK]

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Tags: mit, bacteria, e-coli, photographs, photography
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