Precision Medicine will need to get out of the pharma silo that is based on symptoms

Welcome to the digital era of biology (and to this modest blog I started in early 2005).

To cure many diseases, like cancer or cystic fibrosis, we will need to target genes (mutations, for ex.), not organs! I am convinced that the future of replacement medicine (organ transplant) is genomics (the science of the human genome). In 10 years we will be replacing (modifying) genes; not organs!

Anticipating the $100 genome era and the P4™ medicine revolution. P4 Medicine (Predictive, Personalized, Preventive, & Participatory): Catalyzing a Revolution from Reactive to Proactive Medicine.

After low-cost airlines (Ryanair, Easyjet ...) comes "low-cost" participatory medicine. Some of my readers have recently christened this long-lasting, clumsy attempt at e-writing of mine "THE LOW-COSTE INNOVATION BLOG". I am an
early adopter of scientific MOOCs. My name's Catherine Coste. I've earned myself four MIT digital diplomas: 7.00x, 7.28x1, 7.28.x2 and 7QBWx. Instructor of 7.00x: Eric Lander PhD.

Upcoming books: Airpocalypse, a medical thriller (action taking place in Beijing) 2017; Jesus CRISPR Superstar, a sci-fi -- French title: La Passion du CRISPR (2018).

I love Genomics. Would you rather donate your data, or... your vital organs?

Audio files on this blog are Windows files ; if you have a Mac, you might want to use VLC ( to read them.

Concernant les fichiers son ou audio (audio files) sur ce blog : ce sont des fichiers Windows ; pour les lire sur Mac, il faut les ouvrir avec VLC (

"GUBS a Language for Synthetic Biology"

"Last month, a team led at the University of Washington announced they had devised and successfully tested a programming language that can guide the assembly of synthetic DNA molecules into a circuit that can perform a task, just as a software developer would write code to send commands to a computer.

Chemists have always used mathematical models to study how molecules behave in mixtures. “Instead of thinking of this as a descriptive language that allows you to understand the chemistry, we said, we’re going to create a prescriptive language that allows you to program something,” says Georg Seelig, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the school.

While there’s no killer app anywhere near ready yet, possible future uses for being able to design and assemble DNA to perform a specified function are wide-ranging. Seelig imagines programming molecules to act as embedded sensors inside cells that could respond to changing conditions, just as internal electronics guide the operation of automobiles or home appliances. For example, he says DNA systems could be instructed to release a drug every certain number of hours or in response to an abnormality detected in a cell. “Cells do things like that all the time. They sense their environment, they respond to it,” he notes.
In a paper published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers describe a basic experiment they used to test their theoretical work. They mixed two types of DNA strands (“A” and “C”) in a test tube. If there were more A than C, the system was instructed to convert all of C into A. If there were more C than A, all of the A type would become C.
A lot of work remains, but the broader field of synthetic biology is growing. “It’s nice and well to do this computation in test tubes, but really where this kind of implementation is useful is when you want to control cell behavior.” Article by JESSICA LEBER


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