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Generations of Bunnies

Researchers have 3D-printed plastic bunnies that encase the information needed to make more such bunnies, Discover magazine reports.

As GenomeWeb reports, the researchers relied on a 'DNA-of-things' (DoT) storage framework in which DNA encoded with data then encapsulated in tiny beads that can then be incorporated into a range of materials that can be made into numerous shapes. Researchers led by ETH Zurich's Robert Grass write in Nature Biotechnology this week that they synthesized five generations of that plastic bunny — using the data stored in each bunny to create the next generation — with no information loss and no need for additional DNA synthesis. The researchers also showed that the approach was scalable by storing a 1.4 MB video in DNA in plexiglass and retrieving it.

The researchers say this approach could be used to encode electronic health information within medical implants. For instance, Wired notes, tooth fillings could also include patients' dental history.

"It may also facilitate the development of self-replicating machines," the researchers add in their paper.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.