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Scientists build man-made 'living-materials' inside bacterial cells

Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are borrowing this idea from nature: They’ve created living cells that incorporate inorganic matter like gold and quantum dots.

These bacterial factories, described in the journal Nature Materials, could one day help create fully functional hybrid "living materials" that could be integrated into everyday objects and devices, from solar panels to adjustable furniture.

“This work lays a foundation for synthesizing, patterning, and controlling functional composite materials with engineered cells,” the study authors wrote.
 
 

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