Microbes are everywhere, and those in our bodies seem to be incredibly important to our health. They have developed intricate relationships with other living systems, feeding on chemicals in their environment to produce other chemicals, some of which are more beneficial to nearby organisms than others.
Making microbes work for us has been a tantalizing prospect for scientists for decades. Can we modify the genomes of these microbes to control exactly which chemicals they break down or produce, for example? What if we could get microbes to help us reduce pollution or create microbes that make medicine?
The good news is that new technologies are bringing us ever closer to making engineering microbes a reality to benefit our health and our environment. Experts say we could be as little as four years away from human treatments. Read the whole story.
Jessica’s story is from The Checkup, their weekly biotech newsletter. Sign up to receive it in your inbox every Thursday.
If you’re interested in reading more about microbes and microbiomes, why not check out:
+ Bacteria can be engineered to fight cancer in mice. Scientists have engineered microbes that appear to prevent or treat cancer in animal tests, and human traces are in the cards. Read the whole story.
+ Your microbiome ages as you do, and that’s a problem. Our guts are home to a complex ecosystem of bacteria. Can we modify it to stay healthy as we age? Read the whole story.