We all are familiar with conventional portraits. They started gaining popularity in Italy during 1450-1500 and have been popular even today. However, Adrian Salamunovic and Nazim Ahmed, the founders of DNA11, have broken the tradition and brought a new version of portraits that is different from painting and photography. They invented the art of DNA portraits in 2005.
DNA11 creates DNA portraits of their customers by taking a very small sample of their DNA. Although DNA portraits may look similar, no two portraits of two different persons are alike. There is always a subtle difference between the two portraits.
The founders of DNA11 have accomplished a feat never thought of before. You do not have to force a smile or stand in a place for a long time. Every DNA art is made with a beautiful combination of art and genetics. Today we are going to tell you how DNA11 develops a portrait using just your DNA.
Step 1: The DNA Collection Process
To create a DNA portrait, DNA 11 needs a sample of your DNA. After you place an order, DNA11 sends the DNA collection kit inside an elegant metal box where you will have the required components.
On the DNA collection kit, you will find a cheek swab. Use it to collect some cells (a few million) from the inside of your cheek. The process is easy and painless.
After that, you will store the sample in the FTA card given in your DNA collection kit. It contains a special chemical that gathers the DNA sample from the swab, stabilizes it, and stores it for further use.
If you want to place your signature on your portrait, they will send you a card where you need to sign.
After that, select the base color of your portrait from the sample swatches and mail them back to DNA11. That is all you need to do from your side.
Step 2: Delivery and Extraction of DNA
After you have delivered the sample to DNA11, it is then transferred to their lab. It is sent to the lab equipped with a barcode for privacy. They use transfer pipettes to handle the DNA samples which are being prepared.
Step 3: Create the Base of the DNA Portrait
You will see that every DNA portrait is made of strands of DNA of various sizes. After extracting the DNA from the FTA card, the sample DNA is analyzed to detect different genome sequences. After that, it is placed in a machine. It makes duplicates of the DNA sequences and genomes, which act as the main base of the image.
Step 4: Separate the Strands of Your DNA
This is the most important process of creating DNA art. After the technicians replicate the DNA samples, they load the DNA into a gel. Then they pass an electric current through that gel. The charges separate the DNA strands according to their size. The larger strands of the given DNA sample go to the top of the gel while the smaller ones go to the bottom.
You may know this process as gel electrophoresis, where you separate and analyze macromolecules based on their size and charge.
Step 5: Creating the Final Picture
After the process of gel electrophoresis is completed, the gel is stained. After that, it is placed on an ultraviolet box which causes the DNA strands to get illuminated. After that, DNA11 takes a photo of the illuminated DNA strands using a digital camera and sends it for the finishing touches.
Step 6: The Finishing Touches
After they have clicked the photo, it is then sent to the team of designers. They make the final adjustments to the DNA portraits based on the requests of the clients. Every process like placing the signature or setting the color of the background takes place here.
After the final product is created, it is now time to print it. The DNA portrait is then printed on a canvas and framed. You get a lot of options to adjust the sizes of the portrait and the frames.
After that, it is delivered to your doorstep. And that is how you get a DNA portrait, which displays the uniqueness inside you, but in a subtle way.
Some More Facts about DNA11 Labs
If we have piqued your interest and you want to know more about the labs in which the technicians and designers of DNA 11 work, here are some cool facts.
DNA11 is a company that creates art. This mentality is reflected in their workspace as well. Their labs and offices are painted with bright colors, and workers are encouraged to display their creativity by designing workplaces with custom artworks. Even their bathroom is covered with bright colors and graffiti art which are created by the employees themselves. The murals are changed periodically.
Previously, it took four to six weeks to create a DNA portrait as the samples and the unfinished products had to be transferred to different labs for different processes, which generated a lot of turnaround time. DNA 11 has recently reduced this time drastically by shifting all their steps of production in a single space. The time taken to create a DNA portrait has reduced from a minimum of four weeks to mere two days.
Their sister company Canvaspop is also present in the same building. CanvasPop creates canvas artwork by taking photographs from their client.
DNA11 has created a lot of opportunities for the enjoyment of their workers and build up positive energy to motivate their workers to work efficiently. Their loft is used for meetings. Their workers can play ping pong in that room.
There is also a DJ booth present in their office that creates a fun and energetic atmosphere.
This is how DNA 11 creates a marvelous form of art by fusing genetics and art in a single frame. DNA11 encourages creativity, and this is reflected in their workspace. So, if you are interested, grab your own unique DNA portrait, and flaunt it to your friends and visitors.