Introducing synthetic features to living organisms without genetic modification
A new study has shown that controlling organisms on the cellular level does not necessarily require genetic modification. Writing in Nature Communications, Roberta Lentini, et al., have demonstrated that Escherichia coli (E. coli) behavior can be controlled by constructing artificial cells that first sense molecules that E. coli alone cannot sense, and then release different molecules that E. coli can sense. In a way, the artificial cells act as translators by converting unrecognized signals into a chemical language that organisms can understand. The translated signal can then potentially trigger a controllable response in the organism.
Physorg, 19 June 2014, http://phys.org/news/2014-06-synthetic-features-genetic-modification.html
Nature Communications, http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140530/ncomms5012/full/ncomms5012.html