Synthetic biology’s potential to make healthcare more personal and participatory might turn us into our own doctors and pharmacists; constantly monitoring and tweaking our body. It might even allow us to externalise our immune system by outsourcing metabolic processes to external microorganisms, such as yeast. Such a synthetic immune system would be tailored to one’s genetic predisposition, age, lifestyle and would sense and diagnose anomalies in our body to produce and deliver chemicals accordingly. In your synthetic immune system, the yeasts are fed with water and sugar from the central bowl. When using the spoon to stir the mixture, a drop of blood drips into the system to disclose your body’s state. Your synthetic immune system will need feeding every evening to produce for your needs. Every morning you can use the mouthpiece to take in the different remedies produced specifically for that day.
SYNTHETIC IMMUNE SYSTEM
TUUR VAN BALEN & JAMES CHAPPELL
About the Artist
James Chappell is a PhD student at the Centre for Synthetic Biology at Imperial College London and Tuur Van Balen is a London based designer. Since 2008 they have been collaborating on various design projects dealing with synthetic biology.