April 20, 2019 2:17 pm EDT
A new biomaterial, built at a University of Cornell bioengineering lab, uses synthetic DNA to continuously and autonomously engage in a process organize, assemble, and restructure Just as biological cells and tissues grow, researchers call "artificial metabolism." However, scientists are not ready to admit that they have created lifelike machines. Scientists have not indisputably claimed that their metabolizing biomaterial is alive, but research has revealed the characteristics of life the material possesses: self-organization, organization, and metabolism.
These man-made organic machines are capable of movement. Consuming, growing and destroying resources and developing resources. Finally they die. Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who has been involved in research, says otherwise. "We are introducing a brand new, lifelike material concept driven by its own artificial metabolism, we are not creating anything vivid, but we are creating materials that are far more realistic than ever."
So scientists are not ready to claim that they have created life, but how realistic is this material? According to research, they are equivalent to biologically complex organisms such as molds: "Here we report a bottom-up construction of dynamic biomaterials driven by artificial metabolism, a combination of irreversible biosynthesis and dissipative assembly processes A similar slime mold was programmed using an abstract design model similar to mechanical systems, and the addition of the program has resulted in a striking racing performance of two locomotives, as well as other applications including pathogen detection and hybrid nanomaterials Dynamic biomaterials driven by artificial metabolism could provide a previously unexplored route to realizing "artificial" biological systems with regenerating and self-sustaining ones offer old-fashioned properties. "
The Cornell team essentially built their own robots using a DNA-based biomaterial, watching how they metabolize resources for energy, watching ed as they decayed and grew, and then programmed them so that they competed against each other. Cornell's application is also impressive, and as unbelievable as it sounds, the team is just starting, and the team's lead author, Shogo Hamada, said, "Ultimately, the system can lead to lifelike self-reproducing machines.
This work is still in its infancy, but the consequences of organically grown, self-replicating machines are unbelievable, and the debate over whether robots can be "alive" will likely soon open a new chapter for discussion. [1
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