Humans Can Now “Print” Genetic Code and Engineer Life

We have learned how to manipulate the code of life. Why this hasn’t received more attention is beyond me.

Synthetic Biology is a multidisciplinary field that often defies definition. Yet despite its complexity, it is a remarkably easy field to apply once you’ve learned the science behind it. From a computer, you can input your desired genetic sequence, print it out, glue it together, put it into a cell and then watch whatever you have created sprout.

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BioBots low-cost 3-D printer can make human organs and bones


At a Drexel University lab in Philadelphia, a desktop 3-D printer is printing miniature samples of bones. In Toronto, another researcher is using the same printer to make living tumors for drug testing. It looks like an ordinary 3-D printer, but instead of plastic, it squirts out living cells.


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Brave new world of biotech: Push one to create life; push two to create alien life


“We’re considering the possibility that you can write software for living things with bio-code (aka DNA).”

May was a good month for miracles.  During these first weeks in May, two separate teams working at two separate institutions announced that when it comes to creating life from scratch, well, there are a couple of new gods in town.



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Scientists discover way to regenerate teeth with lasers


Scientists use low powered laser to grow teeth.

Scientists have used a low powered laser to activate and direct stem cells to grow teeth.  It looks as if they did it right in the mouth (of a couple of species)!  That’s a disruptive innovation compared to the way stem cells are typically grown and developed outside the body.


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The most promising medical technology on the horizon today


Discoveries in the field of telomere biology will have an impact on how we can stay young naturally and look younger than our chronological age.

Research in telomere biology has the potential to extend human life span, to dramatically lower rates of the great remaining killer diseases: heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.  All three diseases increase exponentially with age, and their toll will be slashed as we we learn how to address the body’s aging clocks.

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4D printing: The new human bionics

Skylar Tibbits, an architect who heads up the Self-Assembly Lab at MIT.

The essence of human identity is increasingly in the hands of a new generation. We are entering a future where our biology is becoming self-defined, assembled, manufactured, and increasingly unique. For one, advancements in new materials technology are leading to potentially game-changing innovations. When combined with rapid improvements in 3D printing techniques, the applications for human biology become manifold.



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Researchers clone human embryonic stem cells

Creating stem cells from skin.

Researchers have converted human skin cells into embryonic stem cells using the same process involved in cloning, which have the capability to turn into any type of cell in the body. Stem cell researchers have reached a long-sought milestone in “regenerative” medicine that seeks to provide rejection-free replacement transplant tissues to patients.



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Drones, bacteria, and 3D printers will build the cities of the future

Urban architecture could take on a much different form as scientists make huge strides in robotics, natural building materials, and new construction methods.

Cities are complex ecosystems and they are confronting tremendous pressures to seek optimum efficiency with minimal impact in a resource-constrained world. While architecture, urban planning, and sustainability attempt to address the massive resource requirements and outflow of cities, there are signs that a deeper current of biology is working its way into the urban framework.



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Stanford engineers create biological computer

We’re going to be able to put computers inside any living cell you want,” said lead researcher Drew Endy.

A team of engineers at Stanford University have made a simple computer inside a living cell, where it could detect disease, warn of toxic threats and, where danger lurked, even self-destruct cells gone rogue.




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