US scientists who developed their first living robots have revealed these bots, also known as xenobots, reproduce -- in a manner not found in animals and plants.
What is Xenobot?
Originating from the stem cells from the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) from which it gets the name, xenobots measure smaller than millimeters (0.04 inches) in size. These tiny blobs were first revealed by scientists in 2020 following experiments that showed that they could move, cooperate as a group and self-heal.
Stem cells can't grow into various cell types. To create xenobots, researchers removed living stem cells from the embryos of frogs and let them incubate. There's no manipulating of genes in the process.
Bongard claimed that they discovered that the xenobots, which were at first sphere-shaped and made of 3,000 cells, could reproduce, which is very rare. The xenobots employed "kinetic reproduction," which is a phenomenon that occurs at the molecular level but was never observed on the scale of entire cells or even organisms, Bongard said.
With the aid of Artificial Intelligence, researchers tested billions of body forms to improve the effectiveness of the xenobots in this kind of replication. The supercomputer created the shape of a C that was reminiscent of Pac-Man, the 1980s-era video game of the 1980s. It could find the smallest stem cells within a dish, put them all in the mouth of its creator, then a couple of days later, the mass of cells transformed into xenobots.
The xenobots are a very primitive technology like computers from the 1940s -they don't have many applications in the real world. But, with this mix of molecular biology with artificial intelligence, we can utilize it in various tasks within the body and the environment as per the research.