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First Living Robots Built By The University Of Vermont And Tufts

Scientists from the University of Vermont and Tufts re-purposed living cells scraped from frog embryos and assembled them into entirely new life forms. These tiny “xenobots” can move toward a target and heal themselves after being cut. They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal and so they are a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism. The new creatures were designed on a supercomputer at UVM, and then assembled by biologists at Tufts University. Scientists think they could be useful for:

  • searching out radioactive contamination

  • gathering plastic pollution in the oceans

  • traveling in arteries to scrape out plaque


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