"Entirely new life forms": Scientists create robots using living stem cells

by Daniel Payne · Jan 14th, 2020 3:12 pm
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Sam Kriegman | UVM

Scientists at Tufts University and the University of Vermont have created what has been termed "entirely new life forms" — robotic organisms made from biological stem cells.

The tiny structures, which are less than a millimeter wide, were created using stem cells scraped from embryonic frogs, which were then refashioned using blueprints designed by a university supercomputer. The new organisms, "never seen in nature," then began to exhibit living capabilities, including the ability to propel themselves and heal their own injuries.

Potential applications for the new machines include environmental cleanup, intravenous medicine delivery, and even highly specialized tasks such as arterial plaque removal. The researchers even claimed the machines could be used to "defeat aging."