Scientists at UC San Diego have made a bioluminescent bacterial billboard. They call it a “living neon sign composed of millions of bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in unison like blinking light bulbs.” Making it all work “involved attaching a fluorescent protein to the biological clocks of the bacteria, synchronizing the clocks of the thousands of bacteria within a colony, then synchronizing thousands of the blinking bacterial colonies to glow on and off in unison.” […]

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Biopixel biosensing

UC San Diego created these biopixels from fluorescent bacteria. The neon look is old hat in synbio.

Getting all bacteria to sync was the real magic here. The bacteria are biosensors detecting the presence of arsenic

the smaller chips contain about 500 pixels (containing approximately 2.5 million cells).

External image

The larger chips contain about 13,000 biopixels (resolution 50 to 60 million bacterial cells)  
via UCSD news 


Researchers Create Living ‘Neon Signs’ Composed of Millions of Glowing Bacteria