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Xenobots – The First Bio-Robots: A Living, Man-Made Programmable Cells?

I’ve seen and heard some pretty wild stuff in my time, but this Xenobot thing sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. I wanted to discuss this on here seeing as this technically counts as technology and, well it’s freaking cool as a concept.

Xenobots are what scientist are claiming to be the first bio-robots: living, programmable cells. Scientist took different cells from two completely different frogs and along with engineering from the human part, were able to configure something  straight out of a sci-fi movie. The cells that were used are skin cells and heart cells. The idea is that they wanted to see if they could program the cells to behavior in a certain way, such moving from point A to point B, and boom, that’s how the Xenobots are born. This kinda sounds like the origin story for Cell (Dragon Ball Z).

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Now, I’d be hard pressed to call this an actual living thing but I guess this is the closest thing to the idea humanity has gotten. You can read the incredibly detailed research paper here. What makes this research even more interesting was the unexpected behavior that came from the Xenobots, such as moving in units, returning to a spot they were previously and even healing when cut it half. Almost as if they’re alive.

The potential applications for these Xenobots are insane when you start to think about it, but there’s a lot question that comes from this as well. Lets say for example, these Xenobots can feel pain and become somewhat self-aware, do they get rights? Should we continue to treat them like tools for our own benefits? There’s a grey moral area that scientist will have to address if it ever happens. But for now, we can agree that this is actually pretty cool, right?

What do you guys think about Xenobots?

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