Stanford Bioengineers Introduce ‘Bi-Fi’ — The Biological Internet

Stanford Bioengineers Introduce ‘Bi-Fi’ — The Biological Internet

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Using an innocuous bacterial virus, bioengineers have created a biological mechanism to send genetic messages from cell to cell. The system greatly increases the complexity and amount of data that can be communicated between cells and could lead to greater control of biological functions within cell communities.

The researchers, Monica Ortiz, a doctoral candidate in bioengineering, and Drew Endy, PhD, an assistant professor of bioengineering, have parasitized the parasite and harnessed the virus M13’s key attributes — its non-lethality and its ability to package and broadcast arbitrary DNA strands — to create what might be termed the biological Internet, or “Bi-Fi.” Their findings were published online in the Journal of Biological Engineering.

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