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Information encoded in DNA has been embedded within ordinary objects using a new technique that could lead to self-replicating machines.

The breakthrough was made by a team led by Yaniv Erlich of Erlich Lab LLC and Robert Grass at ETH Zurich. They used the technique to incorporate replication instructions into a 3D-printed rabbit. They then reproduced five successive generations of rabbits from tiny extracted fragments containing DNA. The result paves the way for new applications in a diverse array of fields including the storage of medical information and self-replicating machines.

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