Essays on Science and SocietyREGENERATIVE MEDICINE

Refining cell therapy

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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1112-1113
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat0962

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We are in the midst of a major shift in how we think about treating disease and the regeneration of damaged tissues. Although small-molecule and protein therapeutics are the dominant forms of treatment today, we are now at the point where we can engineer our own body's cells to detect and treat disease. Using the cutting-edge tools of synthetic biology, we may one day be able to build smart therapeutic cells that reside in the body for life, poised to respond to diseases that would otherwise thwart our natural immune system.