Printing your Face from your Gum


We leave DNA everywhere. It’s an inescapable part of being human, whether its skin cells, hair or the saliva in our gum, we leave a microscopic genetic trail behind us wherever we go. So how much can people tell from this DNA? Heather Dewey-Hagborg, a student at the Art Institutes at Chicago, put that to the test by collecting the stray genetics left behind in public areas and then taking them to a community biology lab in New York.  There she had the DNA analyzed to find all of the individuals identifiable traits, and then used a computer model to generate what those people might look like.

She revealed these models by 3D printing them out in masks to be shown as a display. Of course, there is no way of knowing how accurate these masks are in representation to the original person.  But it raises many questions in relation to privacy and how much of yourself you leave laying around, and opens the door to the possibility of 3D printing helping to solve crimes by re-creating the faces of those leaving DNA behind.




Ghost, By Tia. “Bio-Art: 3D-Printed Faces Reconstructed from Stray DNA.”LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 16 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 June 2015.

Posted in 3D Printing, 3D Technology Blog.

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