What is biological internet?
Biological Internet (Bi-Fi) is a breakthrough biotechnological field that focuses on the ability of an M13 virus to carry messages between cells. In late 2012, the study was conducted at Stanford University by PhD student Monica Ortiz and a bioengineering assistant, Drew Endy, Ph.D. Ortiz and Endy exploited a unique property of the non-lethal M13 virus - its ability to transfer packaged strands of DNA and basic biological information. This can possibly be transferred to the human body as a kind of communication network - hence the term biological internet. The researchers' results were published in the Journal of Biological Engineering on September 7, 2012.
The M13 virus is unique in that it is non-lethal and simply imposes itself on the host cell. Thus, the virus does not have any adverse effects. To transfer DNA, the virus simply reproduces within the host cell, wraps strands of DNA in proteins, and sends the packaged strands out to infect other cells. Engineers can manipulate DNA, creating a communication channel for the transfer of information between cells. However, the 'M13' doesn't care what is being transmitted. Hence, Bi-Fi is considered to be a wireless and biological information network. By using DNA as a store of information, researchers can greatly increase the amount of data to be transferred, unlike other known methods such as the use of sugars or chemical signals. The largest strand of DNA packaged by the M13 contains more than 40.