The sculptures Oxman’s team produced are effectively a proof-of-concept of a grander vision of melanin as a material that could actually be integrated into buildings. By using a technique in which melanin would be produced with the assistance of bacteria like E. coli, and integrating that melanin into the building’s facade, Oxman speculates that buildings will one day have a sort of skin, that might be able to tan in the presence of UV rays, protecting its outer shell much like melanin protects humans from the sun. Such melanin-infused buildings would protect their inhabitants from the elements, too–imagine a greenhouse that could attenuate the light to the particular species of plants living inside. Oxman even imagines melanin could help generate energy, or absorb unwanted environmental metals.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.