How Scientists Have ‘Hacked’ Human Cells to Program Them to Better Fight Disease

March 27, 2017 2:34 pm
Genetics background. 3D render.
A 3D rendering of human cells. (Getty Images)


By editing cell DNA, scientists have made a major breakthrough in “programming” human cells to obey 109 sets of instructions.

There is tremendous potential in this work. Theoretically, these “hacked” cells could be instructed in ways to more effectively fight disease. (They would also potentially help better diagnose diseases.)

While there is still much work to be done before the general population is experiencing concrete health benefits from these efforts, the early success rates are extremely promising. The leader of the research team, biologist Wilson Wong of Boston University, reports that only four of the 113 genetic circuits that were attempted failed.

To read more about hacked human cells in Wired, click here. To read the full report in Nature Biotechnology, click here.


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