What happens when you take cells from frog embryos and grow them into new organisms that were “evolved” by algorithms? You get something that researchers are calling the world’s first “living machine.”
Though the original stem cells came from frogs — the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis — these so-called xenobots don’t resemble any known amphibians. The tiny blobs measure only 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) wide and are made of living tissue that biologists assembled into bodies designed by computer models, according to a new study.
These mobile organisms can move independently and collectively, can self-heal wounds and survive for weeks at a time, and could potentially be used to transport medicines inside a patient’s body, scientists recently reported.