Skip to main content
Move the World.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg never leaves a trace of herself anywhere.

An artist and activist, Hagborg wants to make sure people understand the hidden secrets in the DNA they leave behind everywhere they go - and what people can do with them.

One of her early projects was called Stranger Visions. For the project, Hagborg collected discarded gum, cigarettes, strands of hair, and anything else that could hold traces of human DNA. She then took them to her lab for analysis and used the data in the DNA to 3D-print renderings of the people who had discarded the items.

For her latest project, called Invisible, Hagborg developed a spray that can mask your DNA wherever it’s left. As many people are quick to point out, her spray could be used by criminals too. But most powerful tools can be used for both good and evil, and Hagborg is convinced that as technology develops, Invisible will be an essential piece in preserving our safety and privacy.

Up Next

Neuroscience
Scientists Test Mind Control with Light — No Surgery Required
mind control
Neuroscience
Scientists Test Mind Control with Light — No Surgery Required
In a new breakthrough, scientists use optogenetics to manipulate brain cells in mice without surgery or brain implants.

In a new breakthrough, scientists use optogenetics to manipulate brain cells in mice without surgery or brain implants.

Astronomy
Massive 3D Map of the Universe Fills in “Troublesome” Gap
Map of the Universe
Astronomy
Massive 3D Map of the Universe Fills in “Troublesome” Gap
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has released the largest 3D map of the universe ever created, detailing 11 billion years that were previously uncharted.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has released the largest 3D map of the universe ever created, detailing 11 billion years that were previously uncharted.

Artificial Intelligence
The Most Impressive Language Generator Yet
language generator
Artificial Intelligence
The Most Impressive Language Generator Yet
OpenAI’s GPT-3 is currently the talk of Twitter. The powerful language generator is writing everything from sci-fi to code.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 is currently the talk of Twitter. The powerful language generator is writing everything from sci-fi to code.

ELIYSIUM
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?
Watch Now
ELIYSIUM
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?
An MIT researcher has turned 30 years of aging research into something you can use right now.
Watch Now

Most of medical science focuses on combating disease and managing the impact of aging. But one MIT researcher wants to tackle aging head on. Through decades of research, Dr. Leonard Guarente has uncovered a basic mechanism to regulate aging and co-founded Elysium to turn his research into a product. Elysium’s mission is to help people live healthier for longer. Freethink is proud to present this story in partnership with...

Dispatches
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
Dispatches
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
It's not there yet, but carbon capture just got interesting.
DIY
Can Coding Prevent Overdoses?
Can Coding Prevent Overdoses?
Watch Now
DIY
Can Coding Prevent Overdoses?
A group of teenagers in Baltimore have created an app that can notify the public about heroin overdoses and save countless lives
Watch Now

In Baltimore, sometimes referred to as the heroin capital of the U.S., a group of teenagers have developed an app that can track bad batches of drugs and alert nearby users. The so-called Bad Batch Boys believe that giving the information to the people that need it most has the potential to save countless lives.

Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of...
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the Present?
Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of...
Gene therapy uses a virus to replace missing or defective genes. It sounds counterintuitive, but it could be the...
By Mike Riggs

Gene therapy uses a virus to replace missing or defective genes. It sounds counterintuitive, but it could be the key to curing previously incurable diseases.