Tag: Microbial Factories

whale and drone
Microbial Factories

Bacteria and Drones: New Ways to Collect Samples

Sample collection in hard-to-reach and harsh environments has often made scientific research a costly and dangerous exercise. Luckily technology has helped us overcome some of these difficulties.

Although costly robots, for instance, have for a long time been the equipment of choice to collect samples in space. But there is a new competitor for the robot space-sample collector. Experiments have shown that a remarkable amount of small organisms are able to survive in space. ESA researchers have send living kombucha bacteria into space to look for signs of life.

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Microbial Factories

Interview: Suzanne Lee, Fashion Innovator Who Grows Clothing in the Laboratory

Imagine you could grow your own clothes, using fermented tea, bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that can spin the ingredients into eco-friendly fibers. This is exactly what fashion designer Suzanne Lee pioneered. She investigated the possibility of creating clothing through the use of microbial cellulose. For this research project Lee coined the term Biocouture, which transitioned to a biocreative consultancy some years ago.

Today, she is the Creative Director of Modern Meadow Inc, an innovative New York-based team of scientists, engineers, designers and artisans developing cultured animal products and exploring new ways to create sustainable animal materials, such as lab-grown leather. Lee is also founder of Biofabricate, the leading event for the field of design, biology and technology, focused on the emerging world of grown materials.

We recently talked with Suzanne Lee about the textile industry and technology, growing leather in the lab, and the use of new alternative materials in the future of fashion.

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Microbial Factories

Interview: Nadine Bongaerts, Synthetic Biologist Bridging Science with Society

Nadine Bongaerts is a Dutch synthetic biologist and entrepreneur who is building bridges between science, business and society. Fascinated by engineering life at the smallest scale, she designs bacteria with new functions. In 2010, she joined a team of TU Delft students to participated in the worldwide synthetic biology competition iGEM (Internationally Genetically Engineered Machine) for which they developed DNA bricks that turned bacteria into minuscule oil-degrading cells. The work was recognized nationally and internationally and awarded with different prizes. Her current research focuses on using genetic engineering of bacteria to produce a pearl-like material with advanced mechanical properties.

Bongaerts is always looking for creative ways to share her knowledge and connect science to societal developments. This resulted in the co-founding of Biotecture (2011), a company for communication and education of Life Sciences. Since 2014, she is Global Community Director of Hello Tomorrow in which she leads a global network of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and investors to stimulate interdisciplinary collaborations that accelerate scientific findings to the market.

We recently talk to Nadine Bongaerts about the role and impact of synthetic biology, the gap between bio­sciences and society and the importance of communication to overcome the fear of new technologies.

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Bio Art & Design Awards 2015

So, you are well aware that biotech will drive our evolution, you took the crash course on synthetic genomics, you’ve got your map of the DNA world in your backpack and are now eager to redesign some microbes that turn waste into energy, eat plastic, detect flu, or build a better being altogether? You have a brilliant project plan already, but only need some – let say– euro 25.000 and a bit of help from a research group to turn your vision into reality? We have cake for you.

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Biofabricate – NN Lecture in New York

If you happen to be in New York City this week, you may want to join us for BIOFABRICATE, the world’s first summit dedicated to biofabrication for future industrial and consumer products.

The summit features visionary lectures from prominent thinkers and practitioners, including MOMA curator Paola Antonelli, Modern Meadow CEO Andras Forgacs, biocouture CEO Suzanne Lee and our own Koert van Mensvoort. Register here.

December 4th 2014
MICROSOFT Technology Centre
11 Times Square, between 41st & 42nd Streets on 8th Ave.
New York City

Chloe Rutzerveld
Food Technology

Interview: Chloé Rutzerveld, Designer Who Wants to Grow Healthy 3D Printed Food

The next guest in our interview series is Chloé Rutzerveld, young talented and promising Food and Concept designer, from Eindhoven University of Technology. Chloé is interested in combining aspects of food, design, nature, culture and life sciences in a form of critical design. She uses food as a medium to address, communicate and discuss social, cultural or scientific issues.

Throughout 2014, Chloé worked on a 3D food printing project, titled Edible Growth, to show how high-tech or lab-produced food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, unnatural or not tasteful. Her concept is an example of a future food product fully natural, healthy, and sustainable.

The working principle combines aspects of nature, science, technology and design: multiple layers containing seeds, spores and yeast are printed according to a personalized 3D file. Within five days the plants and fungi mature and the yeast ferments the solid inside into a liquid. Depending on the preferred intensity, the consumer decides when to harvest and eat the edible. While the project is still speculative due to technological limits, the concept is very intriguing.

We recently talked with Chloé about people’s response to Edible Growth, the profession of food designer and new preparation methods and products that could be on our plate one day. Here’s what she had to say:

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The Bacterial Lamp

One of the main questions raised by next nature inquires if it is possible to integrated the biosphere into the technosphere. Saying, are there ways to combine the biology with the technology?

An example that makes us say “yes” to this question has been made by designer Teresa van Dongen. She dared to change the interpretation of nature’s functionality, and saw possibilities to use elements of nature as electronics. With a background in biology, she re-interpreted the life’s destination of deep-sea bacteria living on the fish’s skin. The result is the beautiful Ambio: a lamp that lights up by activating the bacteria.

Text by Anne Spaa. This article was originally published on Next Nature Lab

Microbial Factories

Nano Product: Host

Host is a collaboration between science and religion. It is a card containing yeast powder, the biological reaction of the yeast with edible ink in a liquid mixture helps to understand the religious meaning of the Host. The process of eating the card, actually hosting some changeable living organism, makes the metaphor of eating Christ’s body more evident and perceptible by our senses, through sight and taste. Believers can buy their own host and consume it at home or bring it to church. When it comes to microbes, big things come from small packages.

From the NANO Supermarket new collection. Designer: Matilde Losi.


More products from the new line: CloudCrayonsThe Healing GameCoating Cola, Google Nose, Catad’Or