Museum Displays Van Gogh's 'Regrown' Ear

A living replica of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh's famously severed ear is displayed at museum in Germany. Continue reading →

It's no "Starry Night," but Vincent van Gogh fans have a new piece of artwork to visit: the ear that the 19th century artist is said to have cut off in a psychotic fit.

Artist Diemut Strebe created a replica of the ear using the DNA of the great-great-grandson of the artist's brother, Theo, and a 3-D printer. It's on display at the Centre for Art and Media in Germany, where viewers can talk to it through a microphone.

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Strebe's first idea was to use van Gogh's own DNA, which she thought was present on an envelope he used. But when the DNA was shown to be someone else's, relative Lieuwe van Gogh volunteered. He shares about 1/16 of the same genes as the artist.

NEWS: Artists Discovery 3-D Printing

The cells were grown at a hospital in Boston, and then shaped with a printer to resemble the ear.

"I use science basically like a type of brush, like Vincent used paint," Strebe told The Associated Press.

The ear, which is preserved in a case of liquid, is on display in Germany until July 6, and will move to New York next year.

Photo: A living replica of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh's famously severed ear is displayed at Culture and media museum ZKM, in Karlsruhe, southwestern Germany, on June 4, 2014. Credit: Thomas Kienzle/AFP/Getty Images

Ink seems so retro now that machines can custom-print myriad 3-D objects, including snacks. Here are some of the most impressive edibles to emerge from 3-D printers so far.

Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab

is at the forefront of 3-D printed food. The lab’s Fab@Home project led by PhD candidate Jeffrey Ian Lipton uses solid freeform fabrication to print interesting snacks. Lab researchers worked with the French Culinary Institute to print this space shuttle from cheese.

3-D Printing Is Getting Ready to Explode

Printing with chocolate is a no-brainer given its consistency but what used to be a novelty has started going mainstream. Chocolate companies are using 3-D printing tech in new ways, like this

tractor

printed for Nestlé and Android KitKat’s

Chocnology

exhibition.

Using food like ink can be much trickier than generating a mold from 3-D tech. Several years ago

Windell Oskay

and his team at

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

custom-built a 3-D fabricator that fused sugar together into sculptures. More recently 3D Systems released the ChefJet printer to produce confections and cake-toppers.

One day the pizza question could be, Fresh, frozen or printed? The Barcelona-based startup Natural Machines printed fresh pizzas using a 3-D machine prototype called Foodini in 2013. At the same time, NASA gave a grant to the Systems and Materials Research Corporation in Austin to develop pizza-printing capabilities for space.

3D-Printed Pizza to Feed Colonists on Mars

The crew at Cornell University’s Creative Machines Lab did print thick cookies containing the letter C but German designer

Ralf Holleis

produced fewer crumbs. He collaborated with a professor at the University of Applied Sciences Coburg to print

holiday cookies

from red and green colored dough.

Printed meat doesn’t sound all that appetizing but that hasn’t stopped anyone from trying. The startup

Modern Meadow

is working on developing humane, bioprinted meat while

Natural Machines

used their Foodini to create real swirled hamburgers -- as well as the buns and cheese to go on top.

These chips might look like ramen noodles but researchers at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab printed them from corn dough. The flower shape allowed for even frying, Fast Company reported. If you want pasta, Natural Machines says its Foodini printer can serve up gnocchi and ravioli.

The Dutch consultancy T

NO Research

envisions using 3-D printing to address world hunger, although some might squirm at their proposals. Their food printer can generate nutrient-rich snacks from alternative ingredients like algae and even mealworms.

If telling kids to eat broccoli because it’s “little trees” doesn’t work, perhaps Natural Machines’ 3-D printed

spinach quiche

will. To tempt picky young eaters, the Spanish startup produced vegetable snacks in the shape of butterflies and dinosaurs using their Foodini printer.