Scientists develop "biological circuits" to detect human health in the future

Scientists develop "biological circuits" to detect human health in the future According to the report of the American Physicists Network on December 15 (Beijing time), Swedish and Spanish scientists have used genetically modified yeast cells to create "biological circuits" that can communicate with each other. In the future, scientists are expected to use human cells to build more complex systems. To detect human health. Related research was published in the December 9 issue of Nature.

As part of the European Union's "Molecular Computers" project, scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the University of Barcelona's Pompe Fabra conducted the study under the leadership of Professor Stefan Hörmann at Gothenburg University.

The University of Gothenburg University’s Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology Kellogg Freika stated that although reprogrammed cells cannot do the same work as real computers, the study paved the way for the use of such cells to create complex systems. . Future human health conditions are expected to be detected through this “molecule-to-molecule” communication system, eradicating the disease in its infancy, or using it as a biosensor to detect contaminants and decompose toxic substances in the environment.

Synthetic biology is an emerging area of ​​research. One of its applications is to design biological systems that do not exist in nature. For example, researchers have successfully used transgenic cells to construct many different artificially connected devices such as circuit breakers, oscillators, and sensors. Although these artificial connectors have great potential, there are still many technical limitations so far. The main reason is that artificial systems in different cells in different branches can seldom work according to the expectations of scientists, thus affecting the final result.

The team used yeast cells to create a synthetic circuit that could be linked by genetic regulation. They genetically modified these yeast cells so that they can sense the surrounding environment based on established criteria and send signals to other yeast cells by secreting molecules. Therefore, these different cells can be connected together like building blocks of LEGO toys, creating more complex circuits. Compared to a structure made using a transgenic yeast cell, this structure made up of different transgenic yeast cells can accomplish more complex "electronic functions."