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Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:26 PM

Meet the Xenobots, Virtual Creatures Brought to Life

If the last few decades of progress in artificial intelligence and in molecular biology hooked up, their love child — a class of life unlike anything that has ever lived — might resemble the dark specks doing lazy laps around a petri dish in a laboratory at Tufts University.

Douglas Blackiston, a biologist, pointed to one just a little wider than a human hair; squint, and you could just tell it was moving. But under a microscope, the blob was racing up and to the left. “He’s a lighter —,” Dr. Blackiston said, then caught himself. “It’s a lighter color.”

Strictly speaking, these life-forms do not have sex organs — or stomachs, brains or nervous systems. The one under the microscope consisted of about 2,000 living skin cells taken from a frog embryo. Bigger specimens, albeit still smaller than a millimeter-wide poppy seed, have skin cells and heart muscle cells that will begin pulsating by the end of the day.

These are all programmable organisms called xenobots, the creation of which was revealed in a scientific paper in January. They are named for the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, which supplies all their cells, and the suggestion, encapsulated in the prefix, that something strange, alien, is at work.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/science/xenobots-robots-frogs-xenopus.html

This is very cool and slightly disturbing stuff. We might be heading into a real Blade Runner future.

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Reply Meet the Xenobots, Virtual Creatures Brought to Life (Original post)
Zorro Apr 3 OP
Lochloosa Apr 3 #1
cayugafalls Apr 3 #2
Karadeniz Apr 3 #3

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:35 PM

1. Wonder when they will become Self-Aware.....

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 03:36 PM

2. What could possibly go wrong with a novel life form created in a lab.

It was only a matter of time and research.

Cool science indeed.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2020, 04:31 PM

3. On the disturbing side.

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