New synthetic bacteria can detect air pollution & color-code your poop

snythetic-biology-change-world

Synthetic Biology Could Change the World.

Daisy Ginsberg is an artist and designer currently exploring the frontiers of possibility in the emergent field of synthetic biology. She just gave what was by far one of my favorite talks at this year’s Poptech conference; she discussed the potential boons and pitfalls that products of synthetic biology may yield in coming years. To showcase the nascent field’s unpredictable future, she pointed to E. Chromi, a bacteria that she and a handful of Cambridge students genetically programmed to secrete colorful pigments when it comes into contact with designated toxins.

Think bacteria that could change color to expose contaminants in groundwater, air pollution in cloud cover — perhaps most strikingly, it can even change the color of your poop if it comes into contact with toxins in your digestive system. This great video details the genesis of the bacteria…

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