Photographic bacteria at Università di Roma “Sapienza”, Institute of Nanotechnology

Sunday 5th March, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

*Making photographs with genetically altered bacteria. That’s a truly eccentric Italian scientific scheme.

Here we demonstrate that millions of bacteria, genetically modified to swim smoothly with a light controllable speed, can be arranged into complex and reconfigurable density patterns using a digital light projector. We show that a homogeneous sea of freely swimming bacteria can be made to morph between complex shapes. We model non-local effects arising from memory in light response and show how these can be mitigated by a feedback control strategy resulting in the detailed reproduction of grayscale density images.