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Anchor Lede: We simultaneously celebrate as the clock strikes midnight on New Years. Now bacteria are being engineered to do something similar.
Randy Atkins: Engineers are building genetic clocks in bacteria, inspired by cell machinery that creates our circadian rhythm.
Jeff Hasty: We rely on the same kind of design principles that nature has adopted via evolution.
Randy Atkins: Jeff Hasty, a University of California bioengineer, is using bacteria with fluorescent proteins and setting genetic timers that trigger them to glow on and off at certain intervals. Then, through fast-moving gases…
Jeff Hasty: …each cell communicates the phase of its clock to other cells, which cause the cells to beat synchronously.
Randy Atkins: Hasty says enough cells could create a visible sensor that could…
Jeff Hasty: …change the period of the clock in response to some pathogen that’s in the environment.
Randy Atkins: The concept might also lead to fine-tuning of medical applications like gene therapy. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.