Enkey Magazine
Technology information website

Xenobot: organisms that create themselves

A team of scientists of the University of Vermont, in the United States, created the Xenobot. They are real “living machines” programmable, based on cells of frog which are able to move toward a target while carrying something, like, for example, medicines. Let’s discover them together.

What are the Xenobot?

First of all let’s say what they are not. The Xenobot aren’t a section of Transformers. They aren’t real robots and they aren’t animals neither (do you remember the terrible Xenomorphes of the Alien saga?).

We are talking about a new class of artifacts. Machines focused on the usage of the cells of frog. Living organisms perfectly programmable that for this characteristics resemble the robots, but they are not.

How do the Xenobot born?

All of it was born by the experimentations made by the scientists of the University of Vermont (USA). After many studies, they were able to create organisms able to re-generate themselves if cut in half.

Like we said, the Xenobot have even another peculiarity, which is that they can move toward a target and that they can carry small things, like for example medicines.

xenobot micro organisms
The Xenobot are born from micro organisms able to move toward a target decided by the computer.

In the future, they can be used in the medical field. They can be introduced inside our body to carry medicines toward organs or specific groups of cells, so to cure ourselves with precision and efficience.

The Xenobot project

These new creatures in the middle between a living organism and a robot were planned by a super computer. After that they were created and tested by the biologists of the Tufts University.

The applications are many. An example to which the creators of the Xenobot project thought is their usage as researchers of harmful, radioactive or contaminated compounds. Once identified the targets these creatures are able to transform themselves in collectors of microplastics on the earth or in the oceans.

So, the possibilities are many and besides the humans they involve even the safeguard and the protection of the environment.

Manipulation of the organisms and progress

The manipulation of the organisms for human advantages isn’t surely something new. We are talking about a practical that happens since always. An example? The selection of the different kinds of grains or fruit trees to join between them to stimulate some characteristics.

But not only. In remote times, has become more and more important the editing genetic. This practice reached with the progetto Xenobot its first practical result. Finally they created bilogic machine from zero.

Xenobot: from the computer to the real life

Through the usage of this super computer Deep Green, the scientists developed thousands of potential new life forms.

The computer used complex evolutional algorythms in the attempt to reach a specific purpose, first of all the ability to move in a precise direction.

xenobot from the computer to the biology
The Xenobot were born from the analysis of a super computer in the lab. They will evolve ever more and this makes many scientists worry.

The organisms selected between the most promising were then assembled with the micro surgery, by so reaching an extraordinary result. It was born an organic creature, made of cells that organize themselves according to the predictions of the computer itself. This is something never seen before.

The future of the biology

Many are sceptical and worried about the direction that is taking the scientifical and biological research. Many are worried about the implications of a such fast technological development. But not only, the worry is about the potential consequences of the complex biological manipulations that denaturate nature and humans.

The most expert ones are worry too. Anyway, the future of the biology is right this one: if humanity wants to survive we have to better understand how much the complex properties of the new organisms can help the evolution of the human.

This post is also available in: Italiano