Just like Internet of Things (IoT), IoB refers to access and control of human body via internet. Here, we detail how CRISPR can be used to electrically connect with the genome and as a proof of concept display control over transcriptional informational networks inside E. coli and Salmonella.
Technology has played a transformative role in our lives and its impact on human health is never felt more than in the current times of the Covid-19 global pandemic.
In this scenario, development of autonomous health sensing and actuating systems, also referred to as closed loop systems that ‘sense’ and ‘act’ towards a biological condition (Kovatchev et al., 2009; Berényi et al., 2012), can play a critical role in addressing health crises of the future. Successful adoption of electronic closed loop human health systems is dependent on the development of new methods for biological actuation which has so far been limited to the century old neural stimulation and optogenetics.
Recent advances in the field of biological actuation stems from synthetic biology where our group and others have reported gene circuits that respond to electric signals with expression of specific gene of interests (Weber et al., 2008; Tschirhart et al., 2017; Krawczyk et al., 2020). In a prior publication, our group had detailed a redox-based bacterial promoter SoxS that responds to specific electrochemical signals that can be generated via an external electrode.
Using this promoter, specific transgenes of interests can be expressed in bacteria in response to programmed electric stimuli. In this work, we have taken the next logical leap for this technology, that is, using electric signals to connect and control transcriptional networks in the genome of the cells (Bhokisham et al., 2020).