Posted by Roger Mallett Posted on 7 November 2021

Internet of Bodies: Using CRISPR gene editing to electrically connect with and control humanity

The article below, from the journal Bioengineering, concludes, “similar to how DNA based vaccines are being electroporated into the human body to fight Covid-19, we may expect that electrogenetic promoter circuits will be inserted into human cells to open a new modality of bioelectronic signaling.”

As Patrick Wood of Technocracy.News points out, the ultimate hacking of the human body will be “electrogenetics,” where human DNA can be selectively switched on and off by electronic signals.

By Naren Bhokisham

Just like Internet of Things (IoT), the Internet of Bodies (IoB) refers to access and control of the human body via the 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.

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