When #science follows science fiction: living robots created #SF

I just found this on my news feed and wanted to share it: another example of science creating what SF authors have speculated about for decades, even if not quite the same in the detail.

Scientists claim to have created ‘living robots’ using stem cells from frog embryos. These ‘xenobots’ are able to move around, and at 1mm in size, have potential applications in a massive range of spheres, notably medicine, where they could travel inside the body (so often suggested in SF books, though usually as ‘nanobots’, so even smaller than these guys) to deliver medicines to specific sites in the body, or, in a very topical subject, to gather microplastic in the oceans.

Exciting times!

Read the whole feature here: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/techandscience/living-robot-developed-by-scientists-using-frog-embryos/ar-BBYV8FU?ocid=spartandhp

20 comments

  1. Then you could really have a frog in your throat.

  2. It’s pretty frightening what robots can do these days. I wrote a post a few years ago about all the ST futuristic science that came true. It’s amazing what creative minds can do.

    1. It is a worry with this sort of advance – there’s always the scope for it to be used for nefarious purposes as well as all the possible good applications, but I guess that’s a bit like fire. Probably more concerning is if something unpredictable happens, like it doesn’t develop how expected, or they lose control…
      So much of what SF writers (including ST, of course) have predicted seems to come around, and we’ll always have to wonder if perhaps it was the prediction that prompted science to go down that path.

  3. Okay, this is getting scarier with technology taking over everything. 🙂

    1. It does give one pause, for certain. Back to the old question – just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean we should.

      1. Exactly!!!!! And no. 🙂

  4. The devil’s always in the details. 🙂 It’s a great joy to be proved ‘right’. It’s also really demoralizing when the timing is out by, oh, decades. I recently re-read Heinlein’s ‘Door into Summer’ and laughed when I realised how wrong he’d been about the 70’s.

    1. Oh yeah! But I grew up on Heinlein and Asimov, and it’s amazing to see things they foresaw coming about, even if it isn’t in the predicted time frame.

      1. Yes, they were brilliant, both of them. I think they changed how the world thought about sci-fi.

      2. Frank Herbert was the author who hooked me on SF – Dune just blew me away – but those other two were my next reads, and they were innovative and inspirational.

      3. Oh my…have you read Tad Williams’ Otherland series? It’s a 4 book monster and utterly brilliant.

      4. I haven’t, thanks, I’ll look it up. There are so many great books out there these days, and not enough time to read them all 😦

      5. Hah! Tell me about it. I read an awful lot, but I never run out coz there are so many awesome Indies out there now. If you ever want some great Indie scifi, just give me a yell. I’ve found some superb new writers out there.

  5. Wow. That’s nuts.

    1. Somewhat concerning, methinks.

  6. I’m waiting for time travel.

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