Everywhere we go, we leave little traces of ourselves behind. The strand of hair, the wad of gum, the cigarette butt, nail clipping, or puddle of spittle. And all of these negligible bits and pieces that we so casually or unknowingly discard, contain our genetic information.
Doctoral student Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who is completing her degree in electronic art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, wanted to find out just how much of ourselves we are potentially revealing through this personal debris. So she began collecting these nasty little leave-behinds, and found that, “the more I walked around the city, the more I saw these genetic artifacts everywhere I looked.”