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Building with biology

Researchers can adapt the function of cells by manipulating them. Image: Shutterstock/LYphoto
Researchers can adapt the function of cells by manipulating them. Image: Shutterstock/LYphoto

Could machines, technologies and devices made with micro-organisms and bacterial cells soon be a part of our daily lives? Will modified cells be a part of the medical treatments we take, the food we eat, the fuels we use?

November’s issue of Horizon takes a look at the cutting-edge technologies known as synthetic biology which are bringing together engineering and biology to create completely new systems and innovations.

We hear how bacteria can be turned into electricity-generating cells and even change how we take our medicines.

In this issue, we speak to researchers who are using synthetic biology to augment our bodily systems by, for example, adapting cells so that they release hormones that make us feel full when they sense too much fat in our blood.