I grow algae on my face. What do you grow on your face?

In the future, we will live off of algae created by the breath of opera singers. Wait. What? This future you speak of — could we somehow opt out of it? 

Well, bad news: It’s not so much the future as the present. At the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Digital Design Weekend, an opera singer used her voice to feed carbon dioxide (for you non-science majors, it’s “what we breathe out”) to algae so that it would grow. Which is kind of vile. The carbon-dioxide-emitting opera singer controlled her pitch and volume to change the algae’s taste, which is also vile. And yes, the audience was encouraged afterward to “taste her song,” and yes, this unique opportunity and the phrase used to describe it are both upsetting, in a way that evokes walking in on your mother’s book club discussing that Naomi Wolf book about her cooch.

Here’s the good news: It happened in a museum. So the chances that it will ever happen anywhere else — except another museum — are very slim. The object of this project was to show how biotechnology can do really neat stuff, and we feel the point was made. That said, we really want to know who is going to eat the vomit from the people who ate the algae.

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