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Dublin: 3°C Saturday 4 December 2021

Artist can create your portrait from a single hair off your head

DNA sequencing meets 3D printing meets artistry. Wow.

Image: TED Blog still via Vimeo

THE ERA OF 3D printing and DNA technology have met spectacularly in a project from an artist and a DNA-tech lab.

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg can collect a single hair and with the help of Ellen Jorgensen’s Genspace lab, sequence the DNA in the follicle to find a representation of what the owner might look like. This can include traits such as eye colour, hair type, skin colour, gender, weight, facial structure and so on.

The artist likens it to TV crime drama Bones “where a tiny fragment is found… and suddenly it gets turned into this person’s face”.

Obviously, it’s much more complicated than that and the hair – which Dewey-Hagborg often collects from the street and therefore from strangers – must contain a full genome for the process to begin at all.

This short doc from the TED writer Kari Mulholland reveals the secret possibilities of DNA sequencing. Be wowed:

via TED Blog/Vimeo

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