Local scientists create artwork from DNA

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CARLSBAD, Calif. -- DNA contains detailed information about our genetic make-up, but it also has the power to create some pretty cool artwork, according to local scientists.

Carlsbad scientists Andy Bass and Dean Sauer are taking the molecules and making master-pieces.

"DNA really defines who you are. It's really the template to really make you, you," said Sauer, co-founder of Yonder Biology.

The two scientists turned artists take samples, usually swabs from the inside of client's mouths, and then process them in their lab. It takes about fifteen to twenty days from the time the sample is received to the time it's actually made into a portrait for the wall. They add color and print the image on canvas or ceramic adding pictures of the person or their signature or whatever the client wants.

They do quite a lot of dogs but they said the strangest request came from Bay area scientist.

"He wanted to know if we could do a whale portrait and we're like, 'Sure.' I mean, anything that has DNA we can pretty much get a DNA profile for," said Bass. "But then we weren't sure how to actually collect the DNA from the whale."

They've been doing portraits for two year but are now venturing out creating customized watches, yoga mats, even the top of Bass's car will soon sport an image of his DNA. They are also working with local breweries.

"We can actually show you the profiles of some of our favorite local beers," said Bass.

The scientists said they have worked with local celebrities and are pursuing sports stars to turn their office space into a gallery.

They said their artwork costs between $99 and $350. For more information, visit their website.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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