With funding from DARPA’s Autonomous Diagnostics to Enable Prevention and Therapeutics (ADEPT) program, a group of synthetic biologists at Northwestern University has developed a biosensor engineering strategy which may be able to keep cancer and other off-task cells in check. The team engineered immune system cells to sense a cancer cue that they normally do not and to secrete, in response, an immune-boosting agent. The researchers say they ought to be able to adapt their approach to finesse many new sensitivity-and-response pairings into cells. The work was published in Nature Chemical Biology.