Sovereign researchers have programmed bacterial cells to react to changes in light and temperature with the help of synthetic machinery cells.
The alteration is a step forward for the field of cell engineering. This discipline works to alter and harness the power of biological cells for potential applications in medicine.
Living cells contain organelles performing a specific job in our cells, like the organs in our body.
In the research, imperial college London scientists developed artificial organelles before interfacing them with bacterial cells to prompt them to sense and react to external cues. They Designed the organelles to ‘translate’ external signals like heat and light into a chemical ‘language’ that bacteria understand and respond to by producing proteins.
Department of Chemical Engineering Dr Yuval Elani says, “using our artificial organelles, we’ve convinced bacteria to respond to signals they don’t usually react to.
Programmable cells can also help in biotechnology, manufacturing materials like medicines and proteins for food production and industrial materials like plastics and detergents.
The power of cells
Scientists design artificial cells and organelles to mimic the form and function of biological cells in the cell engineering discipline of synthetic biology. The field of engineering is the grand challenges non-living artificial cells communicate with the natural living part of the cell.