Imagine if you were reading a newspaper in about April 1771. It would have been a confusing jumble of adverts, news and features. You might have seen a story about a new Bill in the House of Commons. A ship bearing new calicos had arrived from the East. A man called William Wilberforce was suggesting it might be a good idea to be a bit less beastly to black people. All very intriguing no doubt. But buried away on page 6 might have been a small item about a bloke called James Watt, who had invented some sort of new kettle that made things go round faster. And this was the real story, that one that would change the world forever.
So it is, we believe, with the new story about xenobots. Developed from the cells from the frog Xenopus laevis, they are microscopic robots which can be programmed to move, remember, report to control and carry out tasks at levels of precision which would have bben unimaginable back in the last century. We have two links for you; one to Stacey Liberatore of the Mail * and one to the original researchers at Tufts University. *
The potential step change in what we could do is immense. The researchers talk of drugs being delivered to the precise locations needed in the body. Teams of microrobots programmed to hack through soil, cleaning up radiation and industrial pollution. Is it fantasy to imagine them one day engineering the nucleic acids of individual cells, to remove harmful mutations? All of these possibilities and more are implied, transforming the world in the same way as Mr Watt and his collaborators. Sometimes the big stuff isn’t on the front page.
#xenobots #nanotechnology #ai #pollution #medecine #robotics #biology