To avoid system errors, if Chrome is your preferred browser, please update to the latest version of Chrome (81 or higher) or use an alternative browser.
Click here to login if you're an NAE Member
Recover Your Account Information
Download File (mp3)
Please upgrade to a newer browser.
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.