Which Biological Systems Should Be Engineered?

November 7, 2018

(Nature) – Now, biologists at the Allen Institute for Cell Science in Seattle, Washington, are tweaking the DNA of human stem cells to probe cell organization and function by replacing natural proteins with their fluorescent counterparts (27 so far; see go.nature.com/2afaka5). Even physicians are getting in on the act, tweaking patients’ immune cells to improve the treatment of cancers, often with remarkable success. In my view, engineering is something different. The ultimate goal of engineering is to construct systems that solve problems, such as a synthetic pancreas for people with diabetes.

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