GEN HDM PROJECT
DNA into 3D printings
A research team based out of ETH Zurich has developed a way to store DNA-like information inside 3D printed objects. The novel approach could allow people to reproduce 3D printed objects without any external digital information, such as original CAD files.
The innovative technology, dubbed the DNA of Things, was pioneered by Robert Grass (Harddiskmuseum collaborator), a professor in ETH Zurich’s Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, and Yaniv Erlich, an Israeli computer scientist. The pair combined their individual research projects to create the 3D printed, DNA-embedded objects.
As Grass explained: “With this method, we can integrate 3D printing instructions into an object, so that after decades or even centuries, it will be possible to obtain those instructions directly from the object itself.”
As mentioned, the DNA of Things technology draws some work conducted by both researchers. Grass, for his part, developed a method for identifying products with a DNA barcode embedded inside tiny glass beads. The nanobead barcode technology, which has been commercialized by ETH spinoff Haelixa, can be used to identify high-quality food products or to trace geological tests Project in collaboration with Dina Zielinski
Dina Zielinski is a bench scientist and bioinformatician with broad experience in genetics and genomics. Her current projects are in developmental biology and neurology, but she is motivated to keep learning and using her skills to answer scientific questions that challenge our deepest knowledge.
Original idea: Solimán López & Dina Zielinski
Coordination: Vidya-Kélie, Doris Koffi, Inti Gallardo.
VIDEO INTO DNA
Shipman and his colleagues created strands of synthetic DNA in the lab that encoded in the letters G, T, C and A, the positions and shades of pixels found in an image of a hand and five pictures of a galloping horse taken by Muybridge in the 1880s. The scientists then fed the strands of DNA to E. coli bacteria. The bugs treated the strips of DNA like invading viruses and dutifully added them to their own genomes.
The researchers left the bugs in a dish for a week during which time they grew and divided into new bacterial cells. Shipman then collected some of the bacteria and read out their genomes. He found that the synthetic strands of DNA, which carried all the information needed to reconstruct either the hand image or the pictures of the galloping horse, had been spliced into the bugs’ genetic code.