Bio-skins could go mainstream with the advent of programmable textiles

Since the discovery of a tiny microorganism that lives inside dry rice stalks, the bacteria has been woven into soybean bags and has been used to ferment and prepare nattō, a soybean-based dish in Japan. Its called Bacillus Subtilis natto and the researchers working with it now could change textiles forever.

Here and now, a team at MIT bioLogic has found a new behavior of this ancient bacteria. Through a natural phenomenon called hygromorphic transformation, its cells expand and contract relative to atmospheric moisture.

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