Living camera uses bacteria to capture image

November 28, 2005 | Source: News Service

A “living camera” that uses light to switch on genes in a genetically modified bacterium can take a picture at a resolution of 100 megapixels per square inch over a period of four hours.

The researchers used genetic engineering techniques to shuttle genes from photosynthesising blue-green algae into the cell membrane of the E. coli.

It could lead to the development of “nano-factories” in which minuscule amounts of substances are produced at locations precisely defined by light beams. A different introduced gene could produce polymer-like proteins, or even precipitate a metal and weave a complex material.