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"Plantimal" to star in new Weisman exhibit

Edunia, a transgenic petunia, is an important part of the new exhibit at the Weisman Art Museum.

The plant was implanted with DNA from artist Eduardo Kac, and appears in Eduardo Kac: Natural History of the Enigma exhibit at Weisman.

Kac worked with University of Minnesota plant biology professor Neil Olszewski to create the "plantimal", the Minnesota Daily reoprted.

A gene from Kac's immune system was isolated and implanted into the cells of a petunia. Red veins in Edunia are where Kac's DNA is expressed, the Daily reported.

Olszewski said that the creation has more use in an art gallery than a real-world application.

Kac has been focusing on bio-art for the last ten years, using the creation of life as a medium for his art.

Edunia and the rest of the exhibit took six years from the beginning of the project to its opening debut.

Several other aspects of the exhibit are works that were inspired by Edunia and the process of creating it.

"Singularis", a 14-foot metal and fiberglass sculpture created by Kac was also inspired by Edunia. The sculpture appears in front of the Cargill Center on the St. Paul Campus.

MNDaily - http://www.mndaily.com/2009/04/17/transgenic-petunia-inspires-art