Others have reengineered bacteria by total synthesis and testing of a refactored version of a bacteria They changed over 30% of the bacteria’s genome but the bacteria could still replicate and perform many of its original functions and the new capabilities that they added.
A survey of some robotic work. Tom Knight is mentioned. He is building microbial robots, where he splices standard “parts” into a DNA string, so that the normal RNA transcription mechanism effectively allows a program to have digital control over protein production inside the cell. His “robots,” based on E. Coli as their chassis, can communicate with each other, move about, signal the outside world, and sense their environments.