Ron Weiss, US engineer

Ron Weiss, US engineer

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This image is part of the feature Patterns Reveal Living Computers

Credit: VOLKER STEGER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ron Weiss, US engineer. Ron Weiss, Professor of electrical engineering, Princeton University, USA, holding petri dishes containing genetically altered Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The bacteria have been genetically engineered to respond to chemical signals by producing fluorescent proteins. The colour of the fluorescence depends on the distance and concentration from the source of the chemical. This artificial multicellular system is designed in a similar manner to electronic circuit design, a discipline known as synthetic biology. Such systems could one day be used to create new drugs, biosensors, biological computers or diagnose diseases. Photographed in 2006.

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