Xenobots: World's First Living Robots That Can Reproduce
- After creating the world’s first living robots, United States-based scientists have discovered that they can now reproduce in a way different from any plant or animal.
- Scientists have called xenobots ""the first-ever, self-replicating living robots.
- Xenobot is a simple, ""programmable"" organism that is created by assembling stem cells in a Petri dish.
- The xenobots are made of cells taken from the African clawed frog, or Xenopus laevis.
- The cells aren't genetically modified at all, but simply combined in different arrangements to produce the xenobots.
- The xenobots propel themselves by using tiny hair-like structures known as cilia.
- They have a tendency to spin in a corkscrew fashion, which ""turns out to be pretty good for collecting piles of things,"" such as other cells.
- Xenobots are collections of living cells and have no brain or digestive system.
- But in a real sense they can be programmed — to corral other cells, as in this study, or eventually to do other things.
- That's why the researchers think of them as tiny organic robots.
- A xenobot lives for only about a week, feeding on the small platelets of yolk that fill each of its cells and would normally fuel embryonic development.
- Because its building blocks are living cells, the entity can heal from injury, even after being torn almost in half.