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Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University are working to engineer single-cell organisms that will seek out and eat bacteria that are deadly to humans.

Their work combines the fields of biology and engineering in an emerging discipline known as synthetic biology.

Although the work is still in its infancy, the researchers’ engineered amoeba cells could be unleashed one day in hospitals to kill Legionella, the bacteria that cause Legionnaire’s disease, a type of pneumonia; or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria associated with various infections and other life-threatening medical conditions in hospital patients.

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