Quirky News

  • 9 May 2013, 9:34

Sculptures created from discarded DNA

Heather Dewey-Hagborg /Rex

A New York student is creating portrait sculptures from DNA she finds on discarded chewing gum and cigarette butts.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg analyses genetic material to build up an idea of a person's physical traits which she turns into sculptures for her Stranger Visions project.

Ms Dewey-Hagborg, who is based in Brooklyn, said: "Hairs, nails, cigarette butts, chewing gum, we are shedding our DNA all over the place all the time, and we don't even notice.

"So I extract the DNA in the lab and then I amplify certain regions of it using a technique called PCR - Polymerase Chain Reaction.

"Then I feed this information into a custom computer program I wrote which takes all these values which code for physical genetic traits and parameterises a 3D model of a face to represent them.

"I add some finishing touches to the model in 3D software and then export it for printing on a 3D printer."