Print 8 comment(s) - last by Trisped.. on Oct 2 at 6:03 PM

M13 is used to deliver messages between cells  (Source:
The Bi-Fi network is a new form of cellular communication that could eventually lead to tissue regeneration

Stanford University scientists have developed a new way for cells to communicate in a network they're calling "Bi-Fi" -- or a biological Internet. 

The secret behind the new Bi-Fi network is a virus called M13. M13 prepares genetic messgaes within a host and sends them out to other cells without harming them. More specifically, M13 makes itself comfortable within a host, uses DNA strands to package genetic messages and wraps the whole package in proteins that it creates. These messages are then sent to other cells, where the outer protein layer allows the message to "infect" the receiving cells. The DNA message is then released inside. 

The Stanford team focused on this form of "wireless" communication because it's stronger and more complex than other methods of cell communication, such as chemical signals. Chemical communication is limited in complexity and power because cells take on messager and message roles that cannot be separated. 

But in the M13 communication system, the message and messenger are separated to form the wireless communication. This allows cells to deliver and receive messages more easily, such as move, grow, stop growing, produce insulin, etc. 

Not only can messages be delivered more easily via the Bi-Fi network, but the messages are also more complex because M13 can package larger DNA strands with more base pairs than normal cellular communication methods like chemical signals. According to the Stanford researchers, an M13 can package a DNA strand with as many as 40,000 base pairs, which act as the data's building blocks. 

To top it all off, the research team was able to broadcast the communication between cells at a distance of 7 centimeters with gelatin between the cells. 

This type of Bi-Fi communication system could eventually be used to create complex medications, fuels, etc. It could also even lead to tissue regeneration via complex programming of cellular systems. 

"Effectively, we've separated the message from the channel," said Monica Ortiz, study leader and a doctoral candidate in engineering at Stanford. "We can now send any DNA message we want to specific cells within a complex microbial community."

Source: Science Daily

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Adonlude on 10/2/2012 2:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Call Ender, someones making the Descolada!

RE: Descolada
By Steeds on 10/2/2012 4:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes because the M13 will be able to terraform a planet lol (i wish)... I think it much more likely that this idea will mutate with nanotech to be honest... now there is a horrifying idea for you. cobra commander would definitely want his hands on that!

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki