A new study published in the journal Nature Communications revealed that scientists created an ink from the toxic microbe E coli. These researchers found that when growing and feeding E coli bacteria, it secreted an ink made of living cells, which they then they used to plug into 3D printers. This project, while still underway, holds greater implications with regard to the future of sustainable, self-producing buildings—on Earth and in space. Because the living material is self-generating, scientists are hoping to use this research to build autonomous, renewable infrastructures that can adapt to their environments—even those in space, where resources are scarce. “Imagine creating buildings that heal themselves,” says one of the authors of the research, Dr Joshi. The future of this research may still be uncertain, but it’s clear that living materials are full of hopeful potential. Learn more about this at The New York Times.
Image courtesy of Duraj-Thatte et al./Nature Communications