Semina aeternitatis: Using bacteria for tangible interaction with data

Mirela Alistar, Margherita Pevere

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We explore the potential of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules to enable new ways for humans to interact with their stories and memories via a physical interface that engages senses such as touch, smell and taste. Specifically, we embed the memories of an elderly woman inside a micro-organism by means of computing and genetic engineering. To do so, we first encoded the stories into a string of nucleotides. We next designed and fabricated a circular string by appending restriction enzymes and backbone genes. We developed specific bio-protocols to insert the fabricated molecule inside Komagataeibacter rhaeticus bacteria. The transformed bacteria were presented in an exhibition as a sculpture - Semina Aeternitatis, containing billions of copies of the original stories that people could see, touch, smell and taste. Our work is a first step towards a future where the interaction with our past will go beyond words, and take a more tangible format.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI EA 2020 - Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherACM
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368193
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 26 Apr 202030 Apr 2020
https://chi2020.acm.org/

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period26/04/202030/04/2020
Internet address

Keywords

  • Bacteria
  • Bioart
  • Genetic engineering
  • Organic interfaces
  • Tangible bio-interfaces

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