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Your portrait, made from pulsating bacteria

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What happens when you use tiny electromagnetic coils to shift the position of light-scattering bacteria? In the hands of a couple of science-minded artists, you get an intriguing "Living Mirror."

I have a new favorite artist: bacteria. Imprinted onto cell phones, it can look like flowers, or even distant galaxies. Some types of it can rotate in ways that cause light to scatter, creating a visible shimmer.

It can also make you sick, of course. But let's focus on the pretty little light pulses here.

Two London-based artists have taken magnetotactic bacteria, which can orient itself along Earth's magnetic fields, and combined it with electronics and photo manipulation to create real-time "portraits" of anyone who visits their interactive installation. They call their bio-display "Living Mirror," as the cells "form a 'living mirror' within liquid media from live portrait images captured of individuals."

In other words, if you've always wanted to see how you'd look as a glowing cell culture, this if your chance.

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