Bacterial Photo

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© Aaron Chevalier and the University of Texas at Austin.

The photograph on the left shows members of the synthetic biology team at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California, San Francisco. The team synthesized genetic material that coded for a black pigment and a light sensor, and inserted the gene into E. coli cells. The cells producing this protein turn black when kept in the dark, allowing the group to make photographic film out of a sheet of these bacteria. The image on the right shows the team members as captured by the bacteria they produced. (Unit: 9)