Books are made of wood, but they are not trees; dead cells have turned into something new and serve a new purpose. Similarly, scientists were able to convert living cells taken from frog embryos into entirely new life forms, called xenobots (because the cells are taken from the African Xenobus Levis frog). These miniature robots, which are only a few millimeters wide, can move towards a specific target, carrying something, as a custom medicine, and can heal themselves after cutting them.
Joshua Bungard, one of the scientists overseeing the research from the University of Vermont, said: “These robots are not known species of a known species and not traditional robots, but a new type of programmable organism.”
Michael Levine, one of the project’s lead researchers, commented: “We can imagine many practical applications of these new machines, such as collecting microplastics from the oceans or injecting them into the arteries to resist diseases.”
Humans have manipulated organisms since the beginning of the agricultural revolution at the earliest, and genetic modification techniques are now commonly used, but this is the first time we have built entirely new organisms from scratch.’
Scientists make world’s first living robots – converting living cells taken from frog embryos into new life forms – genetic modification techniques
Scientists used a genetic algorithm (a technique in which a software program develops many suggestions in a way similar to the way organisms evolve, thereby retaining the best options for doing the job and redeveloping new options shown on the old and so on.)) to look for the best options for designing these robots.
One of the things scientists observed was that when cells combined with new structures that did not exist in nature, some of the cells they randomly distributed took on new functions. For example, heart cells are organized in a way that allows robots to move autonomously. Others have developed a hole in the middle to reduce friction, the hole can be used to load robots with certain substances such as medicines.
Another feature of these robots is that they renew themselves; When you die after 7 days, it does not pollute the environment;
In order to form living structures, cells exchange information among themselves in a computer-like process. These processes help to shape cellular structures and determine their specificity. These processes are also reprogrammed;
There are undoubtedly many concerns about the consequences of tampering with complex biological systems. These concerns are justified because we do not know how simple systems evolve into complex systems with new characteristics.
For example, we know that the basic unit for building an ant colony is an ant. But given one ant, it is impossible to predict the complex characteristics of an ant colony, so we need to work towards a better understanding of how the complex characteristics of large systems evolve from those of simple systems.