Scientists often use things in nature as a model to make new things, such as using birds as models for airplanes. One WUSTL engineer is using a basic cell as a model to make genetically engineered bacteria that would produce biofuel or pharmaceuticals. Tae Seok Moon, PhD, has received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Engineering Biological Robustness through Synthetic Control.”
Engineer Tae Seok Moon has made the most complex logic circuit ever assembled in a single bacterium. The logic circuit, in which genes and the molecules that turn the genes on or off function as logic gates, the simple devices that form the basis for electronic circuits, is one step in an effort to make programmable bacteria that can make biofuels, degrade pollutants, or attack cancer or infections.