Smart designer cells are beneficial in drug development as well as in environmental monitoring
Live microbial cells can be used as a tool, which gives information on chemical or physical processes. At the University of Tartu, bacterial cells are being developed, which can be used to study the effect of antibiotics on the bacteria in the body during infection.
For decades, scientists have been playing God in the lab, whether it is cloning animals or genetically modifying plant species, i.e. GMO, to make them more resistant to diseases and rough environmental conditions, writes Mariliis Hinnu, a junior research fellow in molecular microbiology at the University of Tartu Institute of Technology.
However, genetically modified microorganisms are less known. Yet, cleverly designed tiny microbial cells are very important tools in pharmaceutical and chemical industries as well as in environmental monitoring. Research is also ongoing in Tartu, which could make antibiotic therapy more effective in the future.