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Technology Tiny nanobots made of frog cells might prevent your next heart attack

02:35  15 january  2020
02:35  15 january  2020 Source:   bgr.com

High school unveils synthetic frogs for dissection in biology class

  High school unveils synthetic frogs for dissection in biology class The smell of formaldehyde in classrooms may soon be a thing of the past as high schools begin to introduce synthetic animals for dissection. Students used their scalpels to dissect nearly 100 "realistic man-made" frogs for the first time last week at the J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida, according to Syndaver, the Tampa-based company that manufactures human and animal models for medical simulation, education and medical device development.

It won’t be long until we start sending fleets of tiny nanobots inside our bodies to deliver medicine and fix a few of the annoying problems that might otherwise cause Instead, these fleets of robots capable of traveling through our bodies might be made of something entirely unexpected: Frog cells .

Chemotherapy kills cancer, but it also attacks healthy cells . This unfortunate phenomenon makes us sick and can cause permanent damage to our bodies. To deliver drugs to cancerous cells , nanobots must: be small enough to penetrate a tumor through blood vessels, be able to propel themselves and

It won’t be long until we start sending fleets of tiny nanobots inside our bodies to deliver medicine  and fix a few of the annoying problems that might otherwise cause irreparable harm and even death. But those robots might not have any metallic components if some researchers have their way. Instead, these fleets of robots capable of traveling through our bodies might be made of something entirely unexpected: Frog cells.

a star in the sky: xenobots-design-3© Provided by BGR xenobots-design-3 xenobots-design-2© Provided by BGR xenobots-design-2

Called xenobots — after the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis — these tiny creatures are made by both man and machine from stem cells. And once inside the human body, they may be able to unclog arteries and prevent that imminent heart attack the doctor has warned you about.

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For the They Might Be Giants album, see Nanobots (album). The first useful applications of nanomachines may be in nanomedicine. This fine resolution enables the creation of intricately structured sculptures as tiny as a grain of sand.

Nanobots to the rescue. The key to programming a nanorobot that attacks only a cancer cell was to include a special payload on its surface. After attacking tumors, most of the nanorobots were cleared and degraded from the body after 24 hours.

It might be years of research before that happens, but the Universities of Vermont and Tufts have been able to generate these “entirely new life-forms.” Created from frog stem cells, the xenobots are less than a millimeter (0.04 inches) wide, and travel inside blood vessels. They can walk and swim, CNN reports, and they can work alone and in groups.

The stem cells were cut and reshaped into specific body forms to help with a certain task, with a computer helping humans playing god. These supercomputers made beings unseen in nature, the University of Vermont said. The bio-robots have skin and a heart muscle that lets them move around. They can self-heal if needed, and they can feed on certain nutrients and survive inside the host as long as there’s a specific source of food available.

Florida school uses synthetic frogs for science class dissection

  Florida school uses synthetic frogs for science class dissection The synthetic frogs can be reused again and again, unlike the frogs currently killed every year for dissection. "We're proud to have found a partner in SynDaver to bring this revolutionary new educational tool to life, replacing the outdated use of once-living frogs forever," said Shalin G. Gala, PETA's vice president of International Laboratory Methods. PETA estimates that millions of frogs are killed each year due to school dissections.

Biological nanobots might require some different approaches. Of course, nanotechnology experts have been noting for years that the most well developed nanotechnology, living cells and microorganisms, is already in place and doing just fine.

Tiny robots created from living cells may soon be swimming around your body if the prototypes created in a lab reach their full potential. Researchers from the University of Vermont and Tufts University used a supercomputer to design new life-forms using skin and heart cells from frogs . Once they had a

xenobots-design-1© Provided by BGR xenobots-design-1

“These are novel living machines,” University of Vermont computer scientist and robotics expert Joshua Bongard said. “They’re neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. It’s a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.”

These xenobots could have uses in various fields, not just medicine. They could be used to access radioactive areas and clean them up and collect microplastics in oceans. And once they run out of the preloaded lipid and protein food, they’ll just self-destroy without leaving any waste behind. Or, at least, not the kind that you’d associate with nanorobots made of non-biological material.

The theoretical medical uses are more exciting, of course. Aside from unclogging coronary arteries, the robots could be used to explore other conditions. “If we could make 3D biological form on demand, we could repair birth defects, reprogram tumors into normal tissue, regenerate after traumatic injury or degenerative disease, and defeat aging,” the researcher said in an FAQ.

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The emerging technology of nanobots in medicine offers better chances of exploiting nanomedicine to fight chronic diseases such as cancer. Immunotherapy can cause severe side-effects including stomach sickness and skin blistering as sometimes healthy cells get attacked by the immune system.

Nanobots that fight disease inside the body may be the future of medicine, and could treat cancer without the nasty side-effects. Nanobots could provide cancer treatment free from side effects. The nanorobots were made from sheets of DNA rolled into tubes containing a blood-clotting drug.

The research was partially funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, but that doesn’t mean these xenobots could be weaponized with the help of AI. At least, the researchers say it would be no easy task. “At the moment, though, it is difficult to see how an AI could create harmful organisms any easier than a talented biologist with bad intentions could,” they wrote in the same FAQ. “Despite this, we believe that, as this technology matures, regulation of its use and misuse should be a high priority. Again though, the possibility of misuse is much, much smaller than what is being done with self-reproducing agents like bacteria, viruses, and gene drives.”

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These Are the First Living Robots: Machines Made from Frog Stem Cells .
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new kind of life.And we've never seen anything like it before.

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