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3D-Printed Bunny Contains DNA Instructions to Make Copy of Itself


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The three-dimensionally-printed rabbit.

Researchers used three-dimensional printing to create a polyester rabbit that contains DNA in which instructions for making copies of itself are stored.

Credit: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich; Erlich Lab LLC Israel

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and Israel's Erlich Lab three-dimensionally (3D)-printed a polyester rabbit that contains DNA in which instructions for making copies of itself are stored.

The researchers encoded the 45kb printing instructions into the DNA bases, then synthesized the corresponding DNA sequence, which they packed into glass spheres and embedded them in the polyester.

As a test, they removed a piece of plastic from the rabbit, and isolated the DNA; a sequencing machine read the DNA-base sequences and translated them into instructions for the 3D printer, which replicated an identical plastic rabbit, complete with DNA-impregnated spheres.

Said Sriram Kosuri at the University of California, Los Angeles, “You can imagine a system where everything is tagged with small bits of useful information. What’s cool about this work is that they show that is doable today, and it seems pretty reliable.”


From New Scientist
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