Genetically modified bacteria prevents tooth decay

Dec 18, 2023

Lantern Bioworks has developed Lumina, a genetically modified bacterium, to prevent tooth decay by outcompeting harmful oral bacteria. This innovative solution, which transforms sugar into alcohol rather than lactic acid, aims to make cavities obsolete. Originating from Professor Jeffrey Hillman’s research, Lumina will first be available to biohackers at a high cost, with plans for broader accessibility in the future.


Key takeaways


  • Innovative cavity prevention: Lumina, a groundbreaking genetically modified bacterium, offers a novel approach to combat tooth decay. By effectively outcompeting and replacing the harmful bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities, it presents a significant advancement in dental health, which is crucial for maintaining quality of life and overall health as one ages
  • Sugar metabolism shift: Traditional oral bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid, leading to tooth enamel erosion and cavities. Lumina, however, alters this dynamic by metabolising sugar into alcohol instead. This shift not only reduces the risk of tooth decay but also represents a transformative approach in managing oral health, a key factor in healthy ageing
  • Long-term oral health impact: The introduction of Lumina into the oral ecosystem is poised to have a long-lasting impact on oral health. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is vital for nutrition and overall well-being, especially in later years. By potentially reducing the incidence of dental issues, Lumina could play a significant role in enhancing life quality and longevity
  • Accessibility and future plans: While initially available to a niche market of biohackers at a high cost, there are plans to expand the availability of Lumina, making this innovative dental health solution accessible to a broader audience. This strategy reflects a growing trend in healthcare towards leveraging biotechnology for preventive care, which is particularly relevant for individuals focused on longevity and ageing gracefully


Read the article at: Alexander, Scott. “Defying Cavity: Lantern Bioworks FAQ.” Web. December 2023.