Designer bacteria: Genetically modified pills are a radical new way to treat rare stomach ailments

Screen Shot at PM

Designer bacteria are organisms that have been genetically modified to include a new function to make it do something it does not do previously. Synlogic, a Massachusetts-based start-up,…[recently] announced a new pill that contains these modified organisms that could treat a rare metabolic disease that affects the stomach.

We normally expel the excess nitrogen by [urinating it] out of the body. However, some people can’t process nitrogen fast enough, leading to ammonia levels that are toxic enough to kill the person. The modified bacteria [in the pill] rectifies this by soaking up the ammonia and turning it into arginine, a harmless amino acid.

“Synthetic biotics,” as the company founders call it, are able to perform new and interesting functions that our body cannot normally do and this development could become an alternative to pills and injections.


Swallowing bacteria may seem like a weird concept to some people but, as this development shows, it could lead to better, more targeted, ways of treating diseases.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: A New Way to Cure? Bacteria With Genetic Programs Are Coming To a Body Near You

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend