Biomedical Technology

Essay by wpolk04High School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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The advanced field has proven that the human body is a mix of fallibility and intolerance For instance, when organs ware out it takes a while for your name to be put on a list, even after your name is put on the list you wait and wait. Then after the surgery you have to take Immune depressing drugs for the rest of your life. Eventually people will be able to bypass the list and the drug problem by creating an organ from your own cells.

A cell with an on/off switch may sound crazy, even insane. Weiss is one of the many researchers in the field of synthetic biology, that has assembled genes into a network designed to force cells to do what their programmers want (Gravitz). This technology along with bacteria can advance biosensing, which uses are detecting land-mined or biological weapons. Add human cells to the mix and researchers could build entire organs for transplantation.

"James J. Collins, a biomedical engineer at Boston University created a "toggle switch" that allows chosen functions within cells to be turned on and off at will. Michael Elowits, a professor of biology and physics at Caltech, Stanislas Leibler of Rockefeller University has created another circuit that causes cells to switch between glowing and non-glowing phases (Gravitz)." Weiss has used directed evolution, inserting a gene network into a cell, selectively promoting the growth of the best cells for the task, "fine tuning his circuits." Sponsored by the U.S.DARPA, he is devising a group of cells called "algorithms," which allow bacteria to figure out how far away a stimulus is and very reactions accordingly (Gravitz).

Thomas Tuschi has an off switch for genetic diseases. In Germany's May Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, he discovered that double stranded RNA if designed to target a...