Researchers are developing robots capable of copying themselves

Scientists from the University of Vermont and Tufts University Discovered a new form of biological reproduction and applied his discovery to create the first self-replicating living robot “. This is the team that developed “The first living robot “, NS” xenobots », assembled from frog stem cells (cf. mini-robots made from living cells). Their results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science[1],

Thanks to an artificial intelligence program, researchers determined the shape that allows cells to be more efficient at replication: a “Pac-Man” motif. Replication Mode,” kinetic replication well known at the molecular level, explain the scientists. But this had never been observed before at the level of cells or whole organisms.

between excitement and fear

From ” living machines the size of a millimeter “Joe, with a customized design,” self-replicating spontaneously says Joshua Bongard, computer scientist and robotics specialist at the University of Vermont, who co-led the new research. , These cells contain the genome of a frog, but, freed from the obligation to become tadpoles, they use their collective intelligence, a plasticity, to do something amazing. », Michael Levine, professor of biology and . the director explains Allen Discovery Center from Tufts University and co-director of the new research.

The notion of self-replicating biotechnology may be cause for concern, the researchers acknowledged. , We have the moral imperative to understand the conditions under which we can control it, direct it, suppress it, exaggerate it. “Joshua Bongard says.

This could be research for a team of scientists.” A promising way to advance regenerative medicine , , If we knew how to tell a set of cells to do what we want them to do, it would give us solutions to traumatic injuries, birth defects, cancer and aging. », says Michael Levine.

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[1] kinetic self-replication in reconfigurable organisms, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2021). DOI: 10.1073/pns.2112672118

Source: Tech Explore, Joshua Brown (29/11/2021)

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About the Author: Tad Fisher

Prone to fits of apathy. Music specialist. Extreme food enthusiast. Amateur problem solver.

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