Programming Cells to Perform Disease-Fighting Computations
By building circuits out of DNA, researchers at Stanford have found a way to program the body's cells with logic functions, similar to how computer chips work on larger scales.
What's the Latest Development?
By building circuits out of DNA and cellular proteins, researchers at Stanford have found a way to program the body's cells with logic functions, similar to how computer chips work on larger scales. "It works by making changes to the cell’s genome, creating a kind of transcript of the cell’s activities that can be read out later with a DNA sequencer." Drew Endy, bioengineering professor at Stanford, said: "We want to make tools to put computers inside any living cell—a little bit of data storage, a way to communicate, and logic."
What's the Big Idea?
Biologists expect that if the body's cellular functions can be controlled in ways similar to computer code, the production of essential disease-fighting antibodies could be regulated. "Cells genetically programmed with a biological 'AND' gate might, for instance, be used to detect and treat cancer. If protein A and protein B are present—where those proteins are characteristic of, say, breast cancer—then this could trigger the cell to produce protein C, a drug." The researchers' ultimate goal is to make cells that perform computations analogous to those of microchips.
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Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.
One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.
Nazi supporters held huge rallies and summer camps for kids throughout the United States in the 1930s.
- During the 1930s, thousands of Americans sympathized with the Nazis, holding huge rallies.
- The rallies were organized by the American German Bund, which wanted to spread Nazi ideology.
- Nazi supporters also organized summer camps for kids to teach them their values.
A Bund parade in New York, October 30, 1939.
Credit: Library of Congress
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Tea and coffee have known health benefits, but now we know they can work together.
Credit: NIKOLAY OSMACHKO from Pexels
- A new study finds drinking large amounts of coffee and tea lowers the risk of death in some adults by nearly two thirds.
- This is the first study to suggest the known benefits of these drinks are additive.
- The findings are great, but only directly apply to certain people.