Bio-printing Clothes and Darwin’s book ‘On the Origin of Species’ with Bacteria

09/07/2016 - 4 minutes

Simon Park is a professor at the University of Surrey in the UK who created the first book to be ‘printed’ with living bacteria, whereas Suzanne Lee is a New York based designer who uses the same species of bacteria in her clothing designs.

This is probably one of the most unusual tributes to Charles Darwin, the English naturalist and geologist whose famous book was first printed in 1859. Simon told Wired the choice of Darwin was simple: “Origin of Species was a play on the fact that bacteria, or bacteria-like organisms, are the origin of the species.”

The bacteria used to print the book is a cellulose-producing species, which was manipulated by Park to create the cover of this unusual edition during over 10 days (8 days to print, 2 days to colour).

The current version was presented at the Edinburgh international science festival 2016 (well known for its Science-Art exploits). As Simon explains on his comprehensive blog,

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