Plastic Bunny 3D Printed From Its Own DNA

[♩INTRO] This might look like an ordinary 3D printed
plastic bunny. But unlike most figurines, it contains the
DNA blueprints for its own creation. If you clip off a tiny piece of its ear, you
can sequence that DNA and obtain the plans you need to print another
bunny. It’s a new way of storing information. Or, I guess, a new twist on an old way. The research team that created it call it
the “DNA of Things”: digital data gets encoded into DNA molecules which are then embedded into larger physical
objects. And they think it could change the way we
transmit and store information. It’s well established that DNA can store
lots of information in small packages after all, each of your cells, which are pretty
tiny, contains the blueprints for an entire human. And scientists have figured out how to tap
into this data-storing power. They can convert the ones and zeros of digital
information into the As, Ts, Cs, and Gs of DNA. And that lets them store information in a
ridiculously tiny amount of space. We’re talking about up to two hundred fifteen
petabytes per gram of DNA. That’s two hundred fifteen with fifteen
zeros on the end. Plus, unlike a computer chip, this information
can be stored in pretty much any shape. That’s what really excited the research
group behind the bunny, which was part of a paper published this week
in Nature Biotechnology. The team first figured out how to put designed
DNA molecules into tiny glass beads so they could withstand
high temperatures and many of the chemical reactions that can
damage DNA. Then, they put those beads into a kind of
plastic that can be used in 3D printing. And here’s where the research group got
real clever. Since the blueprints for 3D printed objects
are digital files, they decided to embed the plans for an object
in the object itself. The research team took the files for a 3D
printed bunny and encoded them into a DNA sequence. They then inserted many copies of that DNA
into silica beads, and then added those beads to the plastic
material that was used to print the bunny. The end product was a plastic bunny that contains
the instructions for making itself. Just like we do! …not exactly like we do. And the researchers demonstrated that it retains
that information over time. They clipped one one hundredth of a gram of
material from the bunny’s ear and ran it through a DNA sequencer to decode
the plans. Then, they used those plans to print another
bunny. They successfully repeated this process of
printing and recovering DNA four times. They even waited nine months after printing
the fourth copy of the bunny before extracting its DNA, and they still
got enough data to make a fifth copy. Now, it’s not hard to imagine using this
kind of technology to hide secret messages, like in a spy movie. After all, to the naked eye, you can’t tell
that the bunny figurine is different from any other. And to take this secret data idea one step
further, the group encoded a two-minute long YouTube
video in some DNA beads, and then added them to a kind of plexiglass
to make a pair of lenses. WHICH I’M WEARING RIGHT NOW. I’m not. That was a lie. But they did put the lenses in an ordinary
frame, and it looked like a regular old pair of glasses. But this tech isn’t just for covert ops. The researchers hope it can prove useful in
all sorts of ways. Like, building relevant medical records into
a pacemaker or other implant, so they’re accessible years or decades down
the line even if the electronic records are lost. The method could even be used to build self-replicating
machines. Though, we’re not quite there yet, since
the bunny would need to have a built-in sequencer and also, the plans for
a 3D printer in its DNA, as well. Speaking of self-replication, though researchers may have found a new, low maintenance
way to prevent pregnancy. In a study published in Science Translational
Medicine, the MIT-based team unveiled a new once a month
birth control pill. Oral contraceptives or “birth control pills”
are great in many ways. You can administer them yourself in the privacy
of your own home. And they’re accessible to people in areas
where doctors trained to implant long-term contraceptive devices
are too few and far between or cost too much. The trick is that for them to be most effective, you have to stick to a strict daily schedule. And humans aren’t always great at that. So scientists wondered if they could design
a pill that you’d only need to take once a month, as fewer pills generally means
better adherence to the regimen. The challenge was to design something that
didn’t immediately pass through the gut and that would maintain consistent drug levels
for at least three weeks. The first part was accomplished by creating
a foldable device that fits in a gel capsule. After the pill is swallowed, the stomach acid
dissolve the capsule, allowing the device to unfold into an asterisk-like
shape with a width of about 5.5 centimeters—too
big to pass into the intestines. As for delivering drugs, the device is made
with a special digestion-resistant silicone and loaded with
the synthetic hormone levonorgestrel. So, in theory, it should act kind of like
an implanted device, and slowly release the hormone over time. In theory doesn’t really matter as much
as in practice, though, so the team ran a trial in pigs. They compared two different formulations of
the device to a typical daily birth control pill. And, as expected, the daily pill created a
quick hormone spike that lasted less than 48 hours. But the better of the two slow-release devices
kept the hormone level elevated for weeks. Plus, the devices themselves stayed in the
pigs’ stomachs as planned. That doesn’t mean this monthly birth control
is ready for people, though. The researchers only measured the presence
of the drug, not its ability to prevent pregnancy. That’s what they plan to look at next as well as how to get the device out when
the month is over, because apparently they have not figured that
out yet and it seems important. So, obviously, follow up studies are needed
before this kind of pill can be tried in humans. But if it does pan out, it could make birth
control more accessible, especially in places where implantable devices
are hard to come by for economic or cultural reasons. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
News! To keep up to date on the latest developments
in science, be sure to tune in right here every Friday. Or, click that subscribe button, and you’ll
get them and all our other episodes delivered straight to your YouTube Subscriber
feed! [♩OUTRO]

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100 Responses

  1. Lucas Vivaldo says:

    Fuvest… Hmmmm

  2. dplocksmith91 says:

    You can get your medical records programmed into your own DNA now.

  3. Thanhtacles says:

    The most amazing part about this is that they managed to not denature the dna with the sheer heat from the nozzle

  4. ilovesparky13 says:

    Forget about monthly birth control. We are LONG overdue birth control for men.

  5. ALTHDS says:

    Watching movies from a bead containing some DNA

  6. Tmb Brand says:

    So, they can’t get the device out?! Let’s try this out on some pigs before we even know how to remove it. Big pharma blows.

  7. Nezumi66 says:

    Oh great… This tech' wont get abused at all, NOT. When will scientists learn to think before acting! (Sigh)

  8. huldu says:

    "self-replicating machines" I am not worried at all about that sentence. What could possibly go wrong.

  9. D She says:

    I was hoping for a plastic bunny made from real rabbit DNA that you drop into water (or maybe a top hat) to get a furry pet.

  10. D She says:

    That birth control pill sounds brutal. Imagine the damage caused to the stomach lining and the effects of having a rigid object stuck there for at least a month. Obviously only designed for poor women to use!

  11. Lake J22 says:

    The shirt! I want the shirt. May a ask the makers name please?

  12. Victoria says:

    You know what would be better than hormonal contraceptives? Vasagel to get it's sh*t together and get in the market already.

  13. Terry Maximum-Effort says:

    I LOVE the idea of DNA things.

    I could carry my medical data around on a grain of silica for any doctor or hospital to access easily if I collapse 🙂 and the idea of your favourite ornament being able to be reproduced is quite nice.

    The implanted birth control device in your stomach?? As someone with Gastroparesis, sounds horrific. That is so gonna cause vomiting! And possibly delay gastric emptying… I guess many women will be happy to lose weight though 🙁 even if they get sick.

  14. iron saad says:

    Yo. Do you know what this means?

    I can finally wear a pair of glasses technically made out of a mammoth or even a giant sloth

  15. A guy with an Anime profile says:


  16. stenka rasin says:

    Gee, just what we needed, machines with AI and the ability to reproduce themselves. What could possibly go wrong??

  17. AsciiGDL says:

    This will come in handy if a Death Satranding happens, gotta 3D print those hematic weapons

  18. James Hainsworth says:

    So DNA can withstand an even a coronal mass ejection as storage… as long as we have written instructions on how to decode the DNA for more instructions or maybe even the entire internet… That's super cool!!

  19. Dubsteption 07 says:

    3d dna rabbit today, purple engram trash from Master Rahool tomorrow

  20. Andrew says:

    So its more or less a computer storage medium for easy data replication. Interesting

  21. k k says:

    And 3d printers are better for our future? Limit its uses.

  22. Silberzunge says:

    yey DNA in things, the AI overlord will ceartanly not use that for his world controll plan … All hail the AI overlord !

  23. Riko Lime says:

    Why the hell would you design an item to be swallowed, that grows in size greatly, that is then IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE. And then first test it's effectiveness…

    Effectiveness is pointless if the item is not SAFE. if you can't remove it.. Well.. A monthly thing, 12 months in a year, let's say someone takes it from age 16 to 36… That's 240 of these devices. Jesus.

  24. Ilena Starbreeze says:

    i wana be dna printed!

  25. Oliver Keane says:

    Someone’s definitely going to create a Bun Neumann Machine now. We’re doomed.

  26. Sümbig Dumkünt says:

    No ones going to talk about the unfolding umbrella pill that’s supposed to get stuck in your stomach?

  27. HOH says:

    Stop shouting, we're not stupid!!

  28. Zack says:

    wow hi☺️?? i'm so happy wow!!❤️?

  29. steveb0503 says:

    DNA doesnt carry the "blueprints" for our bodies – it carries the RECIPE for them.

    C'mon – haven't you read Dawkins?

  30. WIll Kennedy says:

    when can we expect 3d printed hanks

  31. Camilla Whatcott says:

    Serious Last Mimsy vibes throughout this whole video

  32. Quag Mire says:

    Practice now. Lord Bunny, we will obey.

  33. Shadow Tech says:

    Does this mean we arr one syep closer to full bioelectronics?

  34. Veronika V says:

    That's not cool to cut a bunny.
    What kind of psychopaths cut an adorable bunny.
    What happens next to the bunny?
    More cuttings and such?
    Also does the 3D printed rabbit live like an ai?
    I expect a full vlog report detailing the critical points on Monday morning.
    Subscriptions are at risk
    Get to the point please, explain it deeper.
    Coz Im thinking go on shapeways rn, design a plastic bunny, bring it to these bunny cutting psychos, maybe your writer too, video the reaction for world star … and tell them to take it home and clip the plastic casing 1/1000, uncage and cleanse, then head to a comfortable place and proceed to mix the (dualvibrator) rabbit their own DNA. See how it feels the other way around. Ha. That'll show em.
    I'm out. Thank you scishow. But I must decompress from this ? with some #tonybaker #skibbitypap Praise God, later
    Such Pervs.

  35. Tammy Elizabeth says:

    So it's a dna fractal bunny?

  36. Drew Sutton says:

    Cool. We're halfway to the SciFi doomsday. Add AI to the self-replication and end biological life.

  37. omar oyt says:

    so I can use my cells like a flash drive…

  38. BigFat says:

    Once this dude quits the channel I'll stop watching.

  39. attic Slabs says:

    Weird. Gotta tickles the human to spread active seeking DNA… next up, 3-D printed anything that spits out active DNA encased in yogurt enzymes ready for o mingle and mate with anything else that gets along with that culture and (both literally and figuratively lol… I guess not anymore.) and wham. Frankenprints! Seriously. That would be the end for me. But still I’m so fuckin blown away by this. Holy fak. my brain has been thinking about how in the hell I bought this game called “earth” about 33 years ago or last Thursday. Either one is correct. I also would imagine that in the future disguises and body suit’s become a thang. Because who wants to give out there traits for free in the future ya know. Not me. But there is a price for a piece of my soul. Also my review of “earth” isn’t done. And no one leaves a review nor is able to advertise…. the only ones that give great reviews are the ones who try and exploit it! After they had been caught. And at that I mean it’s only thoughts streamed, but also recorded in the game itself. Lil catch 22. Those records of thought only last within the player until there own session is ended. Only to be swept away in the server and forgotten. Sorry for the novel. But I think very weird. And I need to get it out. I never write. And this helps me gather my thoughts. Which don’t make sense… embarrassing really. Sorry if ya made it this far. Just made up crap.

  40. ImaginaryMdA says:

    woah, this is data smuggling heaven!

  41. Kin 2x You says:

    imagine being in 2120 and you grow up in a lab only to learn your DNA is the government's nuclear launch key

  42. pierrecurie says:

    I got a peptic ulcer just thinking about an asterisk stuck in my stomach

  43. klondike444 says:

    A lifetime birth control pill is what's needed. No need to remove it.

  44. Little Psycho says:

    "If you clip off a tiny piece of it's ear you can sequence that DNA to OBTAIN THE PLANS YOU NEED TO PRINT ANOTHER BUNNY"- Hank 2019

  45. Drainakon says:

    Self repairing machines? Ohno

  46. Reclusive Eagle says:

    Scientists: "Lets make a plastic bunny with its own DNA!"

    DNA: Decays , Is now a Dog made of Metal

  47. Dennis Haupt says:

    is it me or is hank's brain containing head part getting bigger compared to videos from 5 years ago?

  48. Piet Jansen says:

    Who would down vote this?

  49. sirgaz says:

    "This could be used to make self replicating machines" NOPE!

  50. Charlie Clark says:

    What have we done

  51. sirgaz says:

    If I can't remember to do something daily as part of a routine, I won't remember to do it weekly or monthly.

  52. Demnus says:

    Ok, where is my cheap consumergrade dna sequencer/sinthizer drive?

  53. Justin Gould says:

    They should put a double layer on the pill coating. The outer layer dissolves the existing device and dissipates before the inner shell releases the new one. Or just do timed dissolve on the device, although that would be hard to calibrate.

  54. Aaron Karper says:

    The thing that bothers me with the DNA of things is that it requires expensive DNA sequencing to copy the object. I'd rather have a less replicated chip or highly replicated visible etching

  55. Sara3346 says:

    I think Hank looked a bit better with somewhat longer hair and his more colorful shirts, and his hankler fish

  56. SCP - 507 Hoppy Boi says:

    Are we going to become The Borg soon?

  57. Dean Santos says:

    Hank made change. Change is bad. Change back hank.

  58. Keallei says:

    Bunny inception.

  59. WX SRG says:

    You either wore a hat on this day, took a nap, or rested your head on something… you faver your right side… your hair cut is different… shorter on the top…could be a messed up hair cut and your remolino is on the right like most peoples is… sorry for the spanish…couldnt think of the English word and I've had a few…

  60. Monokuma says:

    1. How to spread DNA.
    2. How not to spread DNA.

  61. David Foster says:

    Nothing to worry about, folks (unless it gets up and hops away)!

  62. z2•* says:

    I made a DNA bunny. Looks nothing like a bunny, but that's what I'm calling it.

  63. aaren fiedler says:

    I would have done a turtle instead of a bunny. 'Cause then you would have turtles all the way down.

  64. Gab Q says:

    Finally, an educational video about the Kardashians.

  65. Steel Man says:

    Audio isn't lined up with video lol

  66. Claire E says:

    Interesting. Relieved that no actual bunny DNA was used!

  67. sanjuansteve says:

    Young men should ''man-up'' and get a (reversible when planning their family) vasectomy! Best decision I ever made when I had mine at age 20.

  68. DoctorX17 says:

    Imagine in 100 years, being able to take your broken old plastic bunny, stick it into a machine, the machine reads the DNA, and spits out a new one. Or whatever plastic item you've been using. And then it recycles the old plastic. That'd be cool.

  69. UBT pixielox says:

    Imma just stick to getting a hysterectomy.

  70. Bret Sander says:

    A two inch star shaped bit of silicon in the digestive tract, what could go wrong?

  71. Jared Pool says:

    Is the birth control for men or women? It'd be interesting to see them try to get a new drug passed considering the last new drug in xy's was shot down for having the same side-effects as the xx version…

  72. Hadrianus Stage says:

    Storing info in DNA, wow, it is just like Fahrenheit 451

  73. bang B says:

    Too smart looks wierd

  74. David Webster says:

    My God. The legal implications

  75. Nitreon says:

    I thought they used a rabbit's DNA as material to print it.

  76. Leo Lionhart says:


    I seriously thought Hank was going to start with that line…feelsbadman…DISLIKE!!!!!

  77. Edi2019 says:

    This is ridonculous!

  78. Paralee Williams says:

    Seems like a trivial way to be harvesting DNA, no?? What’s next?? …who’s next???

  79. I Collect Stories says:

    This is more like a virus that has to infect both the printer and the plastic filament. You could use the filament to make *anything*, not just a bunny, and the object would still have the instructions for the bunny. I'd be more impressed by a 3d-printing program that would embed a copy of itself and a description of the object printed in the object; this would be like embedding the original source code and the compiler source code in an executable program. Of course, this would still lack the DNA sequencer, so ….

  80. AbsolX Guardian says:

    I've always found how much handholding there is regarding oral contraceptives a bit weird. Maybe it's just because I have a handful of different meds to take every single morning that an extra pill isn't that big of a deal. I get in the two hour window every single time, because I'm a wreck without my ADHD meds. I'd probably end up forgetting a monthly pill. I mean, I understand how it's important for other people, but I also have a weird sense of pride that for basically every other medicine they had you an orange bottle and tell you good luck, while oral contraceptives come in these fancy blister packs that remind you if you've taken one each day.

  81. Mark Susskind says:

    I for one welcome our new additively-manufactured overlords

  82. Iago Silva says:

    2:11 Well… this sounds like dumb overkill; ever heard of a lil' thing called 'holography'?

  83. B1 Laxson says:

    Being too big to go down intestines can still be the basis for a blockage >_<

  84. Matt K says:

    Rise of the synths

  85. General Durandal says:

    Don't make self replicating machines.

  86. Youcant Stopme! says:

    I like the haircut

  87. Jere Lull says:

    Hank's a capable host, but I was a bit bothered to have him, and not one of the capable women, talking about a birth control pill. It's not that the information imparted would have differed, but it struck me as not entirely appropriate.

  88. MeSoTrashed says:

    This is a good way to confuse aliens! Take that pyramid builders 😉

  89. Wageslave Uranus says:

    Quick! Eat it!

  90. Toamastar15 says:

    Oh god "self replicating machines" does not sound good…

  91. spoonicuss says:

    organic computers ? do i need to feed it or take it walkies lol

  92. Tizona Amanthia says:

    I'm sorta wondering about the asterisk like silicone caltrops potentially clogging the access to the small intestine…

  93. Red Gamer says:

    This is cool and all but where’s his hair gone

  94. Ucatty2 says:

    Golimns can be a thing now

  95. John Opalko says:

    "Speaking of self-replication…"
    Nice segue.

  96. David Gustavsson says:

    Your calendar starts the week at Sunday. Which made me think about: if Americans start their weeks on Sunday, do you still call it "weekend", or is that Fri-Sat?

  97. Steven says:

    It dont seem so bad. I mean after only one year you would only have 12 used up devices still stuck in the gut. What could that possibly harm?

  98. Zu_alt_fuer says:

    and then came copyright and all went to sh*t

  99. War in Christmas Village says:


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