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Portraits from DNA in Cigarettes and Gum

Portraits from DNA in Cigarettes and Gum

PhD student collects DNA of strangers to create their portraits.

Electronic arts student Heather Dewey-Hagborg took a crash course in molecular biology and started to stroll the streets of New York to collect hair, fingernails, cigarette butts and wads of chewing gum. She uses these samples to extract DNA in a do-it-yourself biology lab in Brooklyn, and then enters data into computer program that creates a model of the person’s face. Finally she produces a sculpture of the face using a 3D printer. The series is called “Stranger Visions.”

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Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg and her DNA-derived self-portrait. Photo by Dan Phiffer.

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The artist produced this facial reconstruction from her DNA analysis of the cigarette butt she collected at Myrtle Avenue and Himrod Street. Image courtesy of Heather Dewey-Hagborg.

Source: Smithsonian

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