Ingenuity in Bioengineering

Via EurekAlert! a good example of the sort of combinatorial ingenuity - so common in the cancer research community these days - enabled by modern biotechnology: "HIV knows how to insert itself into many different types of cells. A portion of the HIV protein called TAT can transport biologically active compounds into cells. TAT is small, but it can move massive molecules. You could almost hook TAT up to a train, and TAT would drag it inside a cell. So we've taken advantage of this ability ... the researchers describe using TAT to pull a protein called Bim into cancer cells. TAT alone cannot cause AIDS and has no adverse health effects. Bim acts as a tumor suppressor and causes cancer cells to die through apoptosis ... Now that we've proven we can do this, we've started creating a battery of proteins that can push cancer cells to die. ... clinical trials of these compounds could be just a few years away." The components of cures and transformative biotechnologies already exist, scattered a piece here and a piece there, waiting for clever humans to learn how to use them to create more healthy life for the ill and aging.


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