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Bacteria Engineered to Trace Faces, Images

Engineered E. coli bacteria can now trace the outline of an image on an agar plate in a feat that shows how manipulating small organisms could lead to synthetic biological devices useful to technology and medicine.

"It looks like a pen came in and traced the outline of the image," said Jeff Tabor, a scientist at the University of California, San Francisco who helped genetically engineer the E. coli bacteria.

Tabor says getting bacteria to trace images was "significantly more complicated" than their original project, which was to create black and white photograph-like images with bacteria for the annual iGEM competition at MIT.
 
 

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