Scientists invent programming language to hack living cells

Researchers have developed a text-based programming language that can"rapidly design complex, DNA-encoded circuits that give new functions to living cells". This means that, through the power of programming, researchers could create DNA sequences for immediate use inside living things such as bacteria and viruses.

"It is literally a programming language for bacteria," said one of the researchers, Christopher Voigt. "You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell."

So far, the language is designed specifically for E. coli, but the team is working towards many more types of bacteria as well.