• Question: Would it be possible for a computer to control our immune system?

    Asked by 869rgah46 to Craig on 10 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Craig O'Hare

      Craig O'Hare answered on 10 Mar 2017:

      That’s a tricky one to answer as we don’t even know how certain parts of the immune system are work right now. We’re still finding this out!

      While it’s not directly controlling the immune system, a lot of computer scientists are getting involved in biology and helping create experiments where 1000s of genes and proteins are being analysed at once. From these experiments we’re learning how certain parts of our genome and how certain cells behave when we have different types of infections.

      This is kinda cheating with the definition of computer, but if you look at a computer as something we programme and as something that just follows instructions that we give it; some scientists have started to manipulate viruses that when they infect cells they actually code signals that boost the immune system to help it fight and defend against other viruses and bacteria.