Scientists have created a "biological fax machine" that could one day teleport life to other planets, said Brian Alexander at Technology Review. The device, called a "digital-to-biological converter," uses code containing genetic instructions to print DNA, RNA, proteins, and even viruses with chemicals pre-loaded into the machine. Eventually, the device could be used to quickly send drugmakers vaccine templates before an outbreak spreads, or create personalized medicines at patients' bedsides.
Researchers at Synthetic Genomics are also working on figuring out how to print actual life-forms, starting with bacteria. But the goals for the technology don't stop there. "I [want] to do something out of this world," said Juan Enriquez, an executive with Excel Ventures who has invested in the technology, "to send one of these things to Mars and print fuels, or print part of an atmosphere, or nutrients."