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June 27, 2013 AT 2:00 am

3D Printed Portraits Created From Found DNA From Heather Dewey-Hagborg #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Go behind the scenes with artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg who has been experimenting with taking hair samples of unknown DNA from public places and then sequencing them to produce an approximate of what the person might have looked like. From TED Blog, via Colossal:

DNA Portrait is a lovely short documentary shot by TED’s own Kari Mulholland. It features the work of the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who spent time collecting hairs shed in public spaces… and then sequencing the DNA therein to print 3D sculptures of what those hairs’ owners might look like. Whoa. The film is also the secret story of the lab run by TEDGlobal 2012 speaker, Ellen Jorgensen. At Genspace, people are able to experiment with DNA-based technology, regardless of their scientific knowledge or experience. As Jorgensen comments in the film, Dewey-Hagborg’s work is super interesting, not to mention searingly contemporary. “It’s a very accessible way for the public to engage with this new technology. It really brings it to light how powerful it is, the idea that a hair from your head can fall on your street and a perfect stranger can pick it up and know something about it,” she says, adding: “With DNA sequencing becoming faster and cheaper, this is the world we’re all going to be living in.”

Read more.

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2 Comments

  1. Whoa! That is a remarkable print. The features of the face are quite clear unlike the prints they had before. Goes to show that 3D prints are getting better and better.

  2. I’m a bit surprised she didn’t perform more tests with known people to verify the results or help refine the process? Neat stuff though…

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