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Ginkgo Bioworks restores fragrances from extinct flowers

Synthetic biology firm Ginkgo Bioworks has found a way to reconstruct fragrances from extinct flowers -- which are expected to be released to consumers next fall -- by coding fragrance genes, using DNA from surviving plants to fill in genome gaps and fabricating scent microbes by injecting the code into yeast. The company used flower specimens from the Harvard Herbarium and partnered with olfactory researcher Sissal Tolaas and artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg to address questions on genetic engineering through immersive installations at museums in New York and the Netherlands.

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