Synthetic biology enables us to harness our natural environment for the production of things. Coded into the DNA of a plant, product parts grow within the supporting system of the plant's structure. When fully developed, they are stripped like a walnut from its shell or corn from its husk, ready for assembly.
Using biology for the production of consumer goods has reversed the idea of industrial standards, introducing diversity and softness into a realm that once was dominated by heavy manufacturing. The product on show in Science Gallery is the Herbicide Sprayer, an essential commodity to protect these delicate engineered horticultural machines from older nature.
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Illustration by Sion Ap Tomos