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Designers are creating synthetic life with a computer language that 'reprograms' cells.
The Biological Computation group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge are working to design synthetic life by creating a computer language that allows them to 'reprogram' cells.
In many respects, a cell operates much like a computer, taking its instructions from a code (DNA) and translating it into a specific output. On this basis, a new programming language has been developed which allows users to effectively 'program' a cell to carry out specific functions. The new language also allows users to work quickly and program these functions without having to know specific DNA sequences.
The ability to reprogram biological systems is becoming a valuable tool in a number of different industries including medicine, agriculture and energy generation.
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