Billions of years ago, bacteria began living inside other cells and carrying out essential functions. Genetic engineering could create new types of these ‘endosymbionts’
27 October 2021
Bacteria have been genetically engineered to enter and live inside mouse immune cells, where they released proteins that altered the behaviour of those cells. The work is a first step towards creating “artificial endosymbionts” that could live inside some human body cells and do everything from guiding the regeneration of damaged tissues to treating cancer.
“That’s the vision in the long run,” says Christopher Contag at Michigan State University.
Several other groups are also developing artificial endosymbionts, which they say could allow us …