Leveraging nature's tool kit

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Science  26 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6438, pp. 340
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9433


In the 1950s, interdisciplinary researchers set out to break down the biological world into parts and rules. Building on the 1944 discovery that DNA was the "transforming principle" and chemical substance of genes, these pioneers formulated a new digital age, based not on the binary code script of computing machines but on the sequences of nucleotide bases. In her new book, The Age of Living Machines, Susan Hockfield asserts that the elucidation of this biological parts list, along with an unprecedented ability to manipulate it, has taken humankind to the cusp of a second convergence at the interface of biology and engineering.