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The first ‘living robot’

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A year ago, a team of American researchers announced the production of the world’s first “living machine”, which is bundles of stem cells from African clawed frogs, Xenopus laevis that can be programmed to perform specific tasks.

Scientist Catherine J. Wu says the cells, which are the size of grains of sand, can move tiny objects, sizzle, and self-medicate.

Professor Josh Bongard, from the University of Vermont, said they were able to create a robot, but it is an organism made from a non-genetically modified frog cell that can perform new and specific tasks.

In a new development, the team announced that xenobots can now reproduce in a way completely different from any plant or animal known to science, by collecting free-floating cells and assembling them into new groups, according to author Nicola Davis.

The team published their findings this week in scientific journals, showing that they used a supercomputer to make a blueprint for a new life form, and collected stem cells from frog embryos and kept them in an incubator before reshaping them.

In about five days, when assembled, these robots can form balls of about 3,000 cells. Because they are able to run, move, and push single cells together to form new xenobots, it is called kinetic auto-replication, and it can only be observed in molecules, not living things.

Scientist Josh Bongaad says there is a limit to the number of bots that can be created. It turns out that these xenobots will reproduce once, or one generation, and will have children, but these children are too young to have grandchildren.

Although this topic is still in its infancy, the team has high hopes for the xenobots project, so that they could be used in medicine, with further development, such as helping to deliver drugs into the body and more.

On the other hand, the committee for selecting the best and most beautiful camels decided to exclude a number of them from participating in a competition that will take place in an Arab capital, after it was found that their owners had painted their eyes and inflated their lips with Botox.

Note: Brother Abdullah Al-Nafisi mentioned in his last interview with Ammar Taqi that the number of American soldiers killed in Vietnam is a quarter of a million, and he repeated the number twice!

The official death toll for Americans in Vietnam was 58,220. We ask Al-Qabas: When will this deliberate distortion of history and the repetition of telling stories that are far from the truth end?

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf