In a groundbreaking development, researchers at Boston University have discovered a way to manipulate human cells, turning them into bio-computers that can accept and follow certain logical instructions. In the research, the scientists successfully programmed human kidney cells to obey 109 different sets of instructions, opening new possibilities for detecting and treating a range of diseases including cancer.
Similar experiments have been carried out in the past but the research involved the use of E. coli or other bacteria cells, which are relatively easy to manipulate, writes Engadget. However, the latest research used mammalian cells and overcame the complexities with the help of a new technique called D.N.A. recombinase.
The discovery could one day help biologists design mammalian genetic circuits that wipe out tumor cells or generate tissues on demand, notes Science.