The times have published an article on the Computational Colloids Project:
Houses could be prevented from collapsing by bacteria genetically engineered to stabilise the soil beneath their foundations.
When they sensed physical pressure such as subsidence or earthquake, the bacteria would make “bio-cement” to harden the ground underneath the building.
Researchers led by Martyn Dade-Robertson, an architect and synthetic biologist at the University of Newcastle, have identified more than a hundred genes whose activity changes in response to the surrounding cell membrane being crushed.
The next step is to see how this works in a jelly that behaves like soil and then to harness this reaction to make the bacteria produce…
Read the full article with a Times subscription here.