The ability to program cells offers many opportunities to improve human health. Stem cells can be programmed to self-organize and differentiate to form tissues and organs. Viruses and bacteria can be used as novel antibiotics by developing “seek-and-destroy” programs. Similarly, the sensing and computing capabilities of bacteria can be used to convert them into drug delivery devices that are able to identify diseased cells and specific regions of the body in order to deliver targeted therapies. A relatively untouched area of therapeutic potential is the human microbiome; in other words, the bacteria that engage in symbiotic relationships with your body. Engineering colonizing bacteria offers a new route for the delivery of vaccines and therapeutics and the treatment of disease.
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