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May 21st, 2007

Designing biological computers

In the lab, we have many interesting and ingenious ways of looking at biological processes. The biotech revolution has allowed us to develop methods for detecting and quantifying molecules produced by living cells; we can detect gene expression and activity, and we can pinpoint within a cell the precise location of proteins. However, while these tasks are relatively easy to perform in vitro on a lab bench, imagine the benefits to medicine if we could apply them in vivo (in a whole, living animal). Nanotech machines could be injected into a patient that would then monitor for certain conditions and respond accordingly.


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