In the same way that computer language tells a machine how to operate, researchers have shown it is possible to write DNA ‘code’ and insert it into bacteria to alter how they function.
“You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”
They hope that one day cells could be programmed so they could release cancer drugs on encountering a tumour, or allow plants to fight back with insecticide when a pest comes near. Read the rest of this entry »