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Programming Cells, With CellOS

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the undeclared-membrane-operations-are-fatal dept.

Biotech 58

First time accepted submitter JoeMerchant writes "An international team of synthetic biologists, led by professor of computer science Natalio Krasnogor at the University of Nottingham, hopes to revolutionize synthetic biology with what they call CellOS, a 'bottom-up approach to cellular computing, in which computational chemical processes are encapsulated within liposomes.' The bold project is aptly named AUdACiOuS."

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58 comments

Jsut watch out (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012122)

Jsut watch out for the bugs

Re:Jsut watch out (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38021948)

I'm waiting for the "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" tag to show up on this story.

Fully programmable cells?

And what happens when someone programs them to break down any biological material and then to use that broken down material to replicate indefinitely?

Grey Goo disaster anyone?

Re:Jsut watch out (1)

nobodie (1555367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38037448)

I'm sorry, i'm confused, how do you program with a cello?
I understand being able to listen to cellos on audacious,i use it as my primary music player right now, but the rest of this thread is really messed up.

ACRONYM (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012140)

That acronym is ATRoCiOuS.

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012222)

You're just JEaLOuS.

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012368)

They'll probably write up their project with LaTeX.

Re:ACRONYM (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012816)

1. I believe technically CellOS is a portmanteau, not an acronym.
2. A Pennsylvania Information System would be PennIS.

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38013176)

Whoosh...

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38013288)

I think CellOS would be more of a compound word. I know this is off topic, but I think simply combining two words should be a compound word. Mixing parts of a word is a portmanteau. I could be wrong about this, but I don't think I am.

Re:ACRONYM (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016706)

It's a compound word if the two words used are element words, otherwise it's a molecule word.

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38017176)

mod parent down -5 Idiot

Re:ACRONYM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38017796)

But the cello is the best musical instrument ever. And to have more than one is great! So whether or not the CellOS is good, it has an appealing name.

Re:ACRONYM (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38019512)

Do you mean to say:

To understand the acronym is ATRoCiOuS {
          You must understand the acronym is ATRoCiOus
          }

?
( with some apologies to recursion freaks, and formatting n*zis )

Audacious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012252)

You mean like the music player [audacious-...player.org] ? I hope they have more innovation in their work than in their naming schemes.

How do you synthesize a biologist? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012278)

;)

Antivirus from big farmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012496)

Norton's days are counted!

Time to really get into declarative languages then (1)

sirlark (1676276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012502)

I guess that the 'language' would have to be declarative, like prolog, since there is no way to enforce sequential execution. On a really positive note, at least the platform won't be subject to potential fragmentation. Like Richard Feynman said: 'You can't fool mother nature'

Re:Time to really get into declarative languages t (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012696)

Fragmentation? Please, we got nothing on mother nature when it comes to fragmentation. :P

I'd like to thank Slashdot... (2)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012524)

...for not all-capping their titles. PROGRAMMING CELLS, WITH CELLOS is a very different headline.

Re:I'd like to thank Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012582)

The url however..

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/11/10/1430221/programming-cells-with-cellos

Re:I'd like to thank Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38013512)

And the worst bit is that the URLs had correct capitalization of titles just a few weeks ago. Guess they changed it to be hip.

Re:I'd like to thank Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012624)

I was hoping for some mention of Ofra Harnoy.

Re:I'd like to thank Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38016152)

You, sir, are clearly unfamiliar with Yo-Yo Ma's vast contributions to computational microbiology.

Re:I'd like to thank Slashdot... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38019830)

Well, music soothed the savage beast; perhaps it had some genetic effect as well?

Pay attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38012710)

This is the future. Not space, not private rocketry for the deluded rich. But medical technology. Biology. Low energy, low materials but very high information density. Information processing is the only thing that's been going through massive improvements over the last few decades. Better get ready to live longer!

Yet another project with (1)

kungfuj35u5 (1331351) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012716)

a name of an already popular open source application: http://audacious-media-player.org/ [audacious-...player.org]
This is almost as bad as the libtorrent and libTorrent fiasco.

Re:Yet another project with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38013118)

But it isn't called Audacious.
There is a big difference. Audacious (or the mess of small and capitals up there) is an acronym.

Danger (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38012850)

Since a court ruled recently that DNA couldn't be patented, now it looks like they're going to make an end run and try to get it copyrighted instead, as part of a "program" to genetically manipulate cells (and their contents). Oh well done.

Re:Danger (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013060)

If you could protect DNA sequences with copyright, someone would've already done so. They're trivial to represent in text.

Re:Danger (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013286)

But you just can't do that - it would be like trying to copyright the weather. But if I copyright the processes by which I can get a cell to express certain genes by calling it a "language" and an "algorithm", bingo.

Re:Danger (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014544)

That's not how copyright works. You can only copyright your specific implementation of getting a cell to express certain genes. Someone else can come along and write a different program to express the same genes and, unless there is evidence that they copies your work, there's nothing you can do about it.

From the article... (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013074)

I will aim at making E.coli bacteria much more easily to program and hence harness for useful purposes

So, insert a switch into E.coli to activate "auto-brewery" mode, swallow a pill containing the key on Friday afternoon and you get Free Beer, internally produced.

Re:From the article... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013154)

So your idea of a good Friday night is eating grains while belching repeatedly until you pass out from intoxication?

Re:From the article... (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013310)

Presumably the E.coli would be programmed to shut off alcohol production when a relatively low concentration is reached - errors in this threshold could range from amusing to fatal. And, I don't really like beer that much, I'd probably drink grape juice instead of eating grains... About the gas, that sounds like a problem for another bug, the same one we need to scrub gaseous CO2 from exhaust pipes.

Re:From the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38017658)

I love bread and chesse.

cellular engineering (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013122)

When can I have my cancer killing viruses, junk removing microbes, and human 1.05 patch?

Re:cellular engineering (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013550)

Considering these guys are somewhere like the planning stages of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, I'm guessing you'll be dead before anything that sophisticated comes around.

and here i thought (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013174)

"finally! a use for my music minor and a chance to dust off the ole cello..."

Re:and here i thought (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38016764)

Hey, you never know. If you can program yeast cells with light, then surely you can program other sorts of cell with cello music. The Mozart Effect and all that.

synthetic biologists (1)

rwise2112 (648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#38013382)

I'd like to know who made these synthetic biologists and why? Is there a shortage of real ones?

VüDü Linux improvement (1)

bsa3 (200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014134)

Will CellOS make it easier to install Linux on a dead badger?

link to free version of journal article (2)

tobiah (308208) | more than 2 years ago | (#38014326)

www.cs.nott.ac.uk/~nxk/PAPERS/DPDPSys.pdf
It looks like a well-considered approach. Hacking living organisms and designing new ones is coming, and it will be a big deal.

good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38015964)

The success of the project to create a ‘re-programmable cell’ could revolutionise synthetic biology and would pave the way for scientists to create completely new and useful forms of life using a relatively hassle-free approach.

What could possibly go wrong?

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