Genetic engineering is one of the latest developments in bioengineering, and it is already making its mark on the world.
The breakthrough involves combining two or more genes to make a living organism.
It is currently used to create a living person, but could one day be used to make the next generation of smart machines.
In a new book by Stanford professor of bioengineering and engineering technology Michael R. Riesman, he describes how genetic engineering can help engineer living machines.
RIESMAN: So we’re starting to see in the last couple of years a very rapid pace of work in the field of bioengineering.
There’s an amazing amount of interest.
And the thing that’s remarkable is that it’s happening in the context of a world where we don’t have a lot of interest in biological engineering, and the first major work in bioengineer came from China in the 1970s.
So you have this explosion in interest in bioelectronics and bioengineering in a rapidly growing field.
And so this is an exciting time in the history of bioelectronic technology.
And we have to remember, in a way, that we’re not going to have a big breakthrough in bio-electronics until we’ve figured out how to engineer living systems.
So we are starting to get a sense of what that might look like.
RYAN: And how do we do that?
How do we create machines that are not only biologically engineered but also are intelligent?
I mean, how can we do this in a machine that doesn’t think?
You know, it’s a kind of a hard question.
It’s hard to get it right.
But we’re learning a lot, and we’re seeing some really exciting advances.
RIEMANS: The key is to figure out what the right way is to think.
And I think that’s what we’re beginning to see.
It turns out that, in the lab, it doesn’t matter what you’re thinking.
You just need to put your mind to it.
That’s the way to do it.
RICE: There are two kinds of thinking.
There are the kind of thinking that is embodied in the brain.
We think about what the next move is.
And then there’s thinking that’s going to take you to the next step.
And that’s embodied in machines, so the kind that we see in machines is the kind where you put your thought into it and then you move it along.
And if you think about a machine in terms of its own brain, that’s not what’s happening.
RYSMAN: That’s right.
And it’s not just embodied in a computer.
It has to have some kind of software that is running inside of it.
And what we do is we have a machine with some sort of software, and that software can be a gene.
And you have to write a gene, you have a program that’s running inside the machine that you can run and read the results, and you get the answer.
RYESMAN: And if we could write the gene in code, it could be programmed by software, like a virus, and a machine would then go and make it.
It could be a virus and it could go and infect other machines.
And in that case, the machine is really a virus.
But if we write it in code we can write it and it would have a different function.
You know what I mean?
So there’s this distinction between thinking and thinking as embodied in code.
RIEDMAN: It’s very hard to do.
RYA: And I don’t think it’s hard.
But I think it depends on what kind of technology we have.
You can think of the genetic code as a kind-of a physical language.
And a lot like a computer, it uses a lot less power than a computer can use.
So if you write a program in a genetic language, you can write the code that makes the machine run.
But that program is a piece of code that is actually running on a machine.
And there are a lot more kinds of machines that can be made using genetic code.
You might think of a machine as a computer that has a genetic code that’s run on it.
So what we see now is that this sort of thing has a lot to do with the kinds of genetic codes that can survive in the body.
And this is why there’s been so much interest in gene therapy.
You want to get the gene therapy to the body to make it do something.
And one of these things that the researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder and their colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been doing is to try to modify the genes that are in people to make them more compatible with other genes.
They’ve been doing that by giving people genetic instructions that were modified so that the genetic codes were compatible with each other.
And these instructions are written in a language called the transcriptome.
And because of the way the transcriptomes work, the