3D Printing DNA Broadly Impacting Biological & Medical Sciences

By: | January 28th, 2016

Cambrian-Genomics 3D Printing DNA

Cambrian-Genomics 3D Printing DNA (Image Courtesy www.sdpb.org)

Building DNA Computers

Humans are now being described as DNA computers. Although humans still don’t know exactly how DNA works, they are moving forward with research and gaining fresh insights on a daily basis. Call it DNA artwork, genetic 3D printing, DNA printing and graphics, or DNA Canvas art; by whatever name, it is a cutting-edge tool already making waves in science, clinical research, and society. It is also redefining what it means to be human.

IndustryTap has written about human attempts to alter nature’s DNA computers, like the glowing plants in which the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) of plants is modified using a genetic compiler so they glow, acting as bedside nightlights. This technique presages the day, not too far off, when anyone, anywhere, will be able to design and create new living organisms. No wonder Stephen Hawking is worried about our future.

3D Printing a Person’s Face Using a DNA Swab

One new technique 3D prints the face of a person using information derived from DNA sequencing. This week, for example, scientists released two life-sized models of Chelsea Manning’s face using a 3D printer and her DNA information. If Manning hasn’t attained immortality yet, she has now.

Chelsea Manning 3D Printed Face from DNA

Chelsea Manning 3D Printed Face from DNA

In a related development, police departments are now using this technique to create composites of suspects from microscopic DNA left at crime scenes. It’s expected this new technology will put a significant dent in the huge backlog of “cold cases,” get violent criminals off the street, and bring closure to families who’ve lost loved ones.

3D Printed DNA as Scaffolds for Nanoparticles

Researchers are also using 3D printed synthetic DNA to create scaffolding structures for assembling nanoparticles and nanodevices. This involves new techniques of DNA nanotechnology that enable the design and fabrication of static and dynamic DNA nanostructures.

Cambrian Genomics, headed by Austin Heinz and part of Singularity University’s growing Startup Lab portfolio, is leading the development of DNA technology that will allow DNA mapping and the custom-design of living creatures.

The following YouTube playlist includes 3 videos about Cambrian Genomics and 3D Printing DNA.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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