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Bacteria dyed scarf changes approach to design

Natsai Audrey Chieza works with John Ward, a professor of synthetic biology at University College in London, to figure out how to use natural processes (like pigment-producing bacteria) to replace traditional dyeing techniques that are damaging to the earth.

Through experimentation, she figured out that like dye, bacteria is capable of producing rich, jewel-toned hues. She uses a fundamentally different approach to design, forfeiting control to a living system that has its own way of doing things. How might we scale these processes to mass production?

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