Artificial protein gives cells new powers.

The development of an artificial protein, which gives new capabilities to cells, marks the beginning of a new era for cell therapies.

Researchers at the University of California in San Francisco and the University of Washington have created an artificial protein.

Computer-designed and synthesized in the lab - that can be used to build radically new biological circuits within cells.

These circuits transform healthy cells into "smart" batteries that, according to their results, have unparalleled capabilities.

The finding that led to the study is that most cell therapies only work when the treatment is given at a specific time and dose. A little earlier or later, in a slightly larger or smaller proportion and the treatment may be ineffective or even dangerous. But often, doctors have no way of knowing when and how much to administer.

To solve this recurring problem, researchers have thought of a new solution.

"Smart" cells that function as small autonomous robots that can detect attacks or diseases could help when necessary and with the required dose.

All thanks to an artificial protein designed in the laboratory, LOCKR, whose composition is described in the journal Nature. According to the researchers, it has no equivalent in the natural world.

LOCKR is biotechnology that has been designed and built by humans from start to finish," says Dr. El-Samad.

That will enable us to address insolvent problems in biology, which will have significant implications in medicine and industry.