16 December 2015
Vol 7, Issue 318

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER It's Logical. There's no cure for psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease that is itchy, red, and scaly. In this issue, Fussenegger and colleagues describe a potential new treatment for psoriasis using synthetic biology tools. The authors engineered human cells to contain AND logic gates, where two inputs—cytokines overexpressed in psoriasis, IL-22 and TNF—triggered the cell's machinery to produce two therapeutic cytokine outputs, IL-4 and IL-10. When implanted in mice, the so-called cytokine converter cells responded to acute and established disease, reducing the severity of psoriatic lesions for days. [CREDIT: C. BICKEL/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE ]