The world of cellular engineering looks to become even more dynamic and exciting in the coming years. What was once a niche focus has exploded to the forefront of the scientific community — one that could have a dramatic impact on our daily lives. Cellular engineering is poised to change the way we deal with environmental toxins, battle serious diseases, and even produce food. Now, some major players are entering the field, and the results look to be astonishing.
The Center for Cellular Construction at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) is at the forefront of this movement. The Center hopes to combine cellular engineering with other disciplines to maximize its potential. From biochemisty and engineering to mathematics and medicine, the end goal will be to,
“transform the field of cell biology into a quantitative and to adapt tools from engineering, and computer sciences to design automated machines out of living cells.”
This venture into combining machinery with biology looks to be a huge one, and the technology behind it is impressive. The IBM Research Almaden is providing artificial intelligence support, and the National Science Foundation is responsible for the funding.
The ultimate goal is to take these technological wonders and transform them into tools that can enhance and improve daily life. By combining these various scientific practices, experts hope to create new avenues and products in the fields of biofuels and therapeutic drugs. By breaking down what makes cells unique and learning to engineer them, the possibilities become virtually endless.
Currently the Center for Cellular Construction has numerous projects underway. Part of the center will work on designing and reconfiguring cells with cutting-edge technology. Another will be focused on allowing engineers to design hyper-accurate models of the cells. As if that isn’t enough, scientists will also be working on live bioreactors and biosensors that will not only allow us to better monitor environmental changes, but even develop cells that can help solve specific problems.
From our health to the fuel crisis to the environment, the Center for Cellular Construction is aiming high — and what they create could change the very world we live in forever.