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A Bright Future for Bioengineering

SBE Special Section

Bioengineering is a vast, multidisciplinary field that involves the application of engineering principles and tools to biological systems. Overall, it is focused on improving human health, wellbeing, and quality of life. Bioengineering can involve disease prevention and treatment — including the development of medical technologies — as well as manipulating organisms all the way down to the molecular level for chemical, food, and fuel production, among many other innovations. As such, this special section is dedicated to the exciting future of bioengineering.

To kick off the special section, the article “Personalizing the Future of Cancer Detection” (pp. 24–27, by Stephanie Lee) covers recent developments in personalized medicine and diagnostic methodologies for cancer detection and treatment. One such emerging technology involves liquid biopsies that would allow doctors to screen for multiple cancers through a single, non-invasive blood draw. For individuals who are already diagnosed with cancer, personalized monitoring solutions under development can help to determine whether or not current treatment methods are effective.

The next article dives into one company’s work in modifying bacteria to serve as vehicles capable of delivering therapies to the human gut. “Synthetic Biotics: A New Approach for the Treatment of Human Diseases” (pp. 28–33) by Sean Cotton and Mylène Perreault (Synlogic) discusses strategies for engineering a probiotic that is native...

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