One of the most destructive dilemmas in warfare – be it military or medical – is the ‘collateral damage’ inadvertently inflicted on innocent bystanders. The ‘gold standard’ in both arenas is precision delivery of the ‘payload’ to the target.

In the West, the recommended way to battle terminal cancer has been invasive surgery and/or a toxic brew of chemicals that indiscriminately destroy healthy cells. But all that is about to change.

Dr. Ido Bachelet of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University announced that a leukemia patient with only months to live will soon become the first human to receive an injection of ‘DNA nanobots’ programmed to interact with and destroy diseased cells without harming the healthy ones. Thus far, the approach has proven effective on cell cultures and in experiments with animals. Results have been reported in papers published by Nature and Science.

A leading figure in DNA nanotechnology, Dr. Bachelet was formerly at Harvard’s Wyss Institute, which “uses Nature’s design principles to develop bio-inspired technologies that will revolutionize medicine and create a more sustainable world.” He foresees a time when DNA nanobots will actually perform surgery on the cellular level – even building bridges between severed nerves in a spinal cord injury and actively directing them to reconnect.

The possibilities are endless. Stay tuned …..