The Dominion Post

ASSASSINS’ RECIPE

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Bacteria and human cells can have a vastly different reaction to a substance – it’s why when taking an antibiotic the drug will kill bacteria without affecting us.

David Ackerley’s DNA recipe instructio­ns borrow from the bacteria cookbook, specifical­ly the steps to make a certain enzyme. The original enzyme converts an otherwise-harmless substance into a toxic one, poisonous enough to kill a cell. Ackerley’s lab has since

 ?? Photo: CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ ?? Real eye-opener: David Ackerley is helping to design a lab-grown retina.
Photo: CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ Real eye-opener: David Ackerley is helping to design a lab-grown retina.

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