This project is carried out by Synthetic Biology Society of Cambridge University. Its first aim is to make the bacteria generate colour changes in their environment in response to light. The second step is to create a genetic construct which will allow the bacterial colony to perform edge detection i.e. only to produce colour changes where the light / dark boundary falls over the colony. Growth of bacterial colonies with LacZ under light-repressible control, and subject to a patterned light stimulus, will enable a form of ‘photography’; areas in darkness will produce LacZ and hence pigment in the surrounding medium, conversely illuminated areas will have LacZ expression repressed.
This work is is heavily inspired by that published in the journal Nature in 2005 by Levskaya et al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04405 and the journal Cell in 2009 by Tabor et al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2009.04.048