Hexbyte Glen Cove A 3D ink made of living cells for creating living structures

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Fig. 1: Schematics of the design strategy, production, and functional applications of microbial ink. a E. coli was genetically engineered to produce microbial ink by fusing α (knob) and γ (hole) protein domains, derived from fibrin to the main structural component of curli nanofibers, CsgA. Upon secretion, the CsgA-α and CsgA-γ monomers self-assemble into nanofibers crosslinked by the knob-hole binding interaction. b The knob and hole domains are derived from fibrin, where they play a key role in supramolecular polymerization during blood clot formation. c The protocol to produce microbial ink from the engineered protein nanofibers involves standard bacterial culture, limited processing steps, and no addition of exogenous polymers. Microbial ink was 3D printed to obtain functional living materials. Credit: DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26791-x

A team of researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, has developed a type of living ink that can be used to print living materials. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes how they made their ink and possible uses for it.

For several years, microbial engineers have been working to develop a means to create living materials for use in a wide variety of applications such as medical devices. But getting such materials to conform to desired 3D structures has proven to be a daunting task. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a new approach to tackling the problem—engineering Escherichia coli to produce a product that can be used as the basis for an ink for use in a 3D printer.

The work began by bioengineering the bacteria to produce living nanofibers. The researchers then bundled the fibers and added other ingredients to produce a type of living ink that could be used in a conventional 3D printer. Once they found the concept viable, the team bioengineered other microbes to produce other types of living fibers or materials and added them to the ink. They then used the ink to print 3D objects that had living components. One was a material that secreted azurin—an anticancer drug—when stimulated by certain chemicals. Another was a material that sequestered Bisphenol A (a toxin that has found its way into the environment) without assistance from other chemicals or devices.

The researchers believe that their concept suggests that producing such inks could be a self-creating proposition. Engineering could be added to the microbes to push them to produce carbon copies of themselves—the ink could literally be grown in a jar. They also state that it appears possible that the technique could be used to print renewable building that would not only grow but could self heal—a possible approach to building self-sustaining homes here on Earth, or on the moon or on Mars.



More information:
Anna M. Duraj-Thatte et al, Programmable microbial ink for 3D printing of living materials produced from genetically engineered protein nanofibers, Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26791-x

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Rare 72-year-old Scotch whisky to be auctioned in Hong Kong thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Rare 72-year-old Scotch whisky to be auctioned in Hong Kong

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Expecting to fetch up to US$49,000 at auction, a 72-year-old bottle of Glen Grant single malt whisky from Scotland is displayed at a Bonhams auction preview in Hong Kong, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Despite the economic uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, interest in the rare whisky remains high. Compared to other investment commodities, collectable whisky is doing strong in the past 10 years, with a four-fold increase in its price, Bonhams specialist Christopher Pong said. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

A 72-year-old bottle of Glen Grant single malt whisky from Scotland is expected to fetch more than $38,000 in an auction in Hong Kong on Friday.

It is the first time that the 1948 Glen Grant , by independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail, is being offered in an . It is number 88 of 290 decanters bottled by the company, and will be auctioned off by Bonhams with a book estimate of 300,000 to 380,000 Hong Kong dollars ($38,000 to $49,000).

Despite the economic uncertainty brought by the pandemic, interest in rare whiskies remains high. Compared to other investment commodities, collectable whisky has done well in the past 10 years with a four-fold increase in prices, said Christopher Pong, wine and whisky specialist at Bonhams.

“We have seen huge interest from all over the world, especially from young collectors,” Pong said.

He said the Glen Grant whisky being auctioned is the oldest from the distillery. It comes in a Dartington crystal decanter with an American black walnut presentation box.

Other whiskies featured in Friday’s auction include a 50-year-old Macallan Lalique, which is expected to sell for as much as 950,000 Hong Kong dollars ($122,500), and a 35-year-old Hibiki whisky from Japan in a Kutani ceramic decanter that is estimated to bring as much as 260,000 Hong Kong dollars ($33,500).

Bonhams expects to fetch about 10 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.3 million) in the auction.



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Rare 72-year-old Scotch whisky to be auctioned in Hong Kong (2021, January 28)
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