Ever wonder what a vanity pool for bacteria would look like? In a new technique for carving microscopic shapes into slabs of protein, researchers shine laser light across a cutout such as a fly [top left] and focus it onto a light-sensitive polymer. The method, which might be handy for growing neurons or other cells in custom environments, produces silhouettes as varied as the aforementioned fly [bottom left] and the state of Texas [right], used here to construct a mound with a sloping top.