Xenobot- A living robot

Xenobot is a living robot not made up of any plastic or metal but entirely from organic cells. Researchers from the University of Vermont and Tufts University created this living creature measuring less than 1 mm wide. It is named after the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. "These are an entirely new life form. They have never existed on Earth,'' said Michael Levin, the director of Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. "It's a new class of artifact: living programmable organisms".

Researchers took stem cells from the embryo of the African frog and differentiated them into skin cells and heart cells. Skin cells are capable of bonding together and provide the architecture to Xenobot while heart cells can contract and relax, function as an engine to propel Xenobot.

Source: Douglas Blackiston

After studying the functional behavior of both cells, data was fed into a supercomputer. It uses an evolutionary algorithm and artificial intelligence that generates millions of configurations. After hundreds of test runs, the design advances to the next stage, and then the digital model gets crafted.

Creating a Xenobot

The team of researchers performed microsurgery for hours on heart and skin cells. They joined one cell to another repeatedly to create their novel organism. These biobots could propel in straight lines and circles. 

Source: Douglas Blackiston

They can heal themselves when cut open. They can easily survive in an environment for several days or weeks without any nutrients. Some of these have holes in the center of the body to transport drugs or medications at the desired location inside a human body. This study will further help researchers to learn more about cell biology- human health and longevity of life.

Applications

Xenobots can repair themselves after cutting down into pieces that machines cannot. These Xenobots are fully biodegradable and convert into dead cells after successful completion of a task in seven days. This makes them safe for the human body. They can repair organs, remove plaque from clogged arteries, detect cancer, etc. Apart from medical applications, they are useful in collecting microplastic from the ocean or search and collect radioactive contaminants.


Drawbacks

It is more than just a machine. In the future, they can be incorporated into the nervous system, bloodstream, or even with reproductive organs. As this field of research expands, regulations and ethics guidelines require to be implemented. When and Where to use? is the biggest question to be asked. At this early stage, it is not easy to predict biological unintended consequences. But for cleaning radioactive and plastics materials from oceans, can become a game-changer biobot.


Conclusion

It promises a better future and hopes are high. I would like to know your thoughts regarding this Xenobot. Will this be a boon or a disaster?

8 Comments

  1. I wish it will have more positive sides than negative ones...smthng different this time....great one...

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    1. good to know that you(nimesh) visited website naturally. I haven't shared the post yet. Many interesting topics on the way.

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  2. I wish this will be in our life soon ....because as it's size is quite small it is really helpful for medical science...as it can remove any kind of harmful cells or other harmful microbes from body... Let's hope for the best...


    And your site looks attractive.. keep it up...all the best

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    1. Thanks:) Reviews are valued here. you can ask for topics that you want to look upon.Keep sharing!

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  3. Self healing!! guess we're making a Deadpool

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  4. The ethics surely plays an important role in near future. If they are used in the positive way
    mainly to cure various neural disorder, it will be proved as one of the greatest discovery in biological Science.

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