On the 25th, the international academic journal Science published an image depicting several hands and cells as its cover. At the bottom of the cover, there is a large phrase ‘Cell Engineering’. This week, Science published a special issue presenting cell engineering as a “powerful and promising technology.”
Cell engineering refers to the technology of manipulating living cells or tissues to create new cells or manipulate useful cells. A representative example of the use of cell engineering is ‘CAR-T cell therapy’.
T cells, one of the immune cells, play a role in directly attacking virus-infected cells and eliminating them in the bloodstream or tissues. Academia has developed a treatment method that uses T cells to select and eliminate only desired cells. By expressing a special receptor (CAR), which is made to connect only to a specific protein of cancer cells, to T cells, the T cells selectively choose and attack cancer cells. It is mainly used to treat cancers such as leukemia and B-cell lymphoma.
Science explained, “The CAR-T treatment was truly revolutionary,” and “offered a cure for some cancers.”
Science emphasized that CAR-T treatment is just one example of a technology where cell engineering technology shines. Science said, “Based on decades of cell engineering research, researchers can now induce desired cell responses,” adding, “It can facilitate basic scientific research or be made into cells used for diagnosis or treatment.”
“Cell engineering has unlimited potential,” says Science, “It advances our fundamental understanding of how complex biological systems are controlled, such as human development, tissue regeneration, and disease treatment.”