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Creation of Living Materials Shows Potential

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 25, 2014 — A new approach to materials synthesis has shown promise in the creation of living elements. Researchers at MIT have influenced E. coli bacterial cells to produce biofilms that could incorporate nonliving materials such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots. They worked with E. coli because it naturally produces biofilms that contain “curli” fibers — amyloid proteins that help E. coli attach to surfaces. Each fiber is made from a repeating chain of identical protein subunits (CsgA), which can be modified by adding peptides. They programmed the cells to produce...Read full article

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